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'You's'll Strip Me of Nothin': McGregor Ignites Mayhem at UFC 223 Media Day

Conor McGregor
Stuart Wilson / BFC / Getty

(FYI: The post below includes some foul language.)

At a press conference on Wednesday ahead of UFC 223, UFC president Dana White clarified a topic he’s largely evaded ever since he set the match between Khabib Nurmagodenov and Tony Ferguson, who was replaced by Max Holloway on Sunday due to a freak knee injury: Will Saturday’s winner be the new lightweight champion, dethroning Conor McGregor and ending Ferguson’s reign as interim champion?

“No interim champ—when this fight is over, one of these guys will be the champion, period,” White told MMAJunkie.

Unsurprisingly, McGregor was furious with the decision. Early Thursday, he posted a tweet expressing his disagreement with the UFC’s decision to strip him of the title he earned in November 2016:

You’s’ll strip me of nothing you’s do nothing cunts.

— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 5, 2018

But McGregor was ready to escalate beyond a war of words. As Thursday’s media day was winding down, McGregor and his crew stormed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, reportedly looking for Nurmagomedov. They were too late to catch him in the building, but they still created mayhem and got into it with fighters about to depart on a bus, according to Ariel Helwani of MMAfighting.com.

Conor McGregor and members of his team showed up at the Barclays Center at the very end of media day moments ago. There was an altercation with some of the departing fighters who are competing on the card.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018

I’m told from people who were in the van that as the van was driving off, they started banging on the windows before security broke it all up.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018

I’m told as the van was driving away to take the fighters back to the hotel that’s when it happened. Those fighters haven’t left the arena now.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018

I’m told that chairs were thrown through the van window and one passenger on the van was injured.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018

Before reportedly fleeing the scene, McGregor and members of his team seemed to damage the bus. Lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa reportedly suffered a cut to the face due to broken glass, according to MMA Junkie. Nurmagodemov and his team were also on the bus, although there are no reports of injury other than Chiesa’s laceration. Women’s strawweight fighter Felice Herrig posted a video to her Instagram story that depicts McGregor allegedly “causing trouble.”

Felice Herrig captured part of the ruckus caused behind the scenes when Conor McGregor and his team arrived. This is from her Instagram account pic.twitter.com/9R6T2eNNTs

— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 5, 2018

A TMZ Sports video shot from a different angle appears to show McGregor throwing a hand truck at the bus, shattering one of the windows.

Conor McGregor throwing a dolly at the bus @TheNotoriousMMA @arielhelwani pic.twitter.com/nkH1zlPnIt

— Style Street (@StyleStreetCo) April 5, 2018

Dana White told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto that there’s a warrant out for McGregor’s arrest and that he likely won’t be able to leave the state of New York until police sorted out the incident. “He’s going to be sued beyond belief, and this was a real bad career move for him,” White said in the video, which was posted on Okamoto’s Twitter account. Los Angeles Times sports reporter Lance Pugmire, however, said that a New York Police Department spokesperson told him that there was no warrant out for McGregor’s arrest:

Told by an @NYPDnews spokesman that there is no arrest warrant for @TheNotoriousMMA

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) April 5, 2018

NYPD Lt. Tarik Sheppard told me “We are looking to talk to him (@TheNotoriousMMA) about it and anyone else involved in it. If we see him at the airport, we will stop him to talk about this.”

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) April 5, 2018

White went on to call McGregor’s stunt “disgusting” in Okamoto’s video:

pic.twitter.com/Hu35x5qgB3

— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 5, 2018

Helwani reported that McGregor’s incursion was a response to a long-simmering feud between Nurmagomedov and Artem Lobov, one of McGregor’s teammates:

As for why this happened today, I’m told from multiple sources with knowledge that the motive was “retaliation” after Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team confronted Artem Lobov, one of Conor McGregor’s teammates and best friends, earlier this week.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018

Despite the McGregor drama, Nurmagomedov and Holloway are set to headline UFC 223 on Saturday, and there’s been no shortage of buzz around the bout. Nurmagodemov was initially set to fight interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson. But when Ferguson tore a ligament in his knee following “an accident on a studio set” during pre-fight obligations, Holloway, the current featherweight champion, agreed to take the fight with just six days’ notice. Ferguson’s freak injury marks the fourth time a bout between him and Nurmagodenov has fallen through.

Even though he’s moving up a weight class to go toe-to-toe with Nurmagodemov, Holloway’s decision means undergoing an absolutely brutal weight cut, but his nutritionist is confident he can get it done and make weight on Friday.

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