UFC 223 features two championship fights, multiple former champions, and some certainty surrounding the UFC Lightweight Championship, but Conor McGregor found a way to make it all about him.
Arriving in New York at the scene of UFC 223, Conor McGregor quickly made his presence felt. He and members of his team arrived at the Barclays Center, where he approached a van that contained several UFC fighters and threw items at it. You can see several video clips above.
Chairs, a guard rail and many other items were heaved during the altercation. UFC Lightweight Title Challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov can be heard saying that he wants to "kill McGregor" shortly after an item was thrown at the van and busting the winshield. Michael Chiesa sustained a cut, and you can also hear someone on the bus calling for a medic. It's not known the severity of the laceration. Rose Namajunas needed to be checked on as well.
The incident caused UFC President Dana White headed to the arena to gain more information. Local police joined him, but as of now Conor McGregor hasn't been arrested. McGregor is hardly out of the woods, as there are numerous people involved who could end up pressing charges as it relates to injuries and damaged property, and will likely face numerous lawsuits. Later, White stated that a warrant was out for McGregor's arrest and he couldn't leave New York. The NYPD have denied this.
As a result, Artem Lobov has been pulled from his UFC 223 fight against Alex Caceres. Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony "Showtime" Pettis was pulled from the event, as was Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno, which left the UFC with two top-15 fights removed from the show. Borg had to be treated for glass in his eye, while Chiesa was removed from the show due to multiple lacerations to his face.
The UFC issued a statement on the matter later on Thursday evening.
“During today’s media event at Barclays Center to promote UFC 223: Khabib vs. Holloway, Conor McGregor and Artem Lobov entered the building accompanied by over a dozen individuals.
The group, which included McGregor and Lobov, vandalized the vehicle that contained a number of athletes competing at the event taking place this weekend. NYPD was immediately alerted and is currently in the process of investigating the situation. UFC is working very closely with the New York Athletic Commission, Barclays Center security and law enforcement authorities. All parties are working together to ensure the highest standard of proper safety precautions are implemented to protect the fans and athletes.
The organization deems today’s disruption completely unacceptable and is currently working on the consequences that will follow. Immediately, Lobov has been removed from this weekend’s card and individuals involved in the incident are not welcome at tomorrow’s ceremonial weigh-in or Saturday’s event at Barclays Center.”