Conor McGregor hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons after fan confrontation

Conor McGregor hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons after fan confrontation

Over the past year or two, the most famous name in UFC has been as likely to feature in the tabloid gossip pages as the sports press. It’s a pattern that is showing no signs of abating, with the recent news that he has been arrested in Miami for “strong-armed robbery and misdemeanour criminal mischief.”

It is just the latest in a litany of controversies for the man who dominated the sport in the first five years of his career between 2008 and 2013, and brought it into the mainstream. But while 10 years ago, he was the bookies’ favourite in every UFC event he entered, today’s online betting is more likely to be about what sort of trouble he can get into next.

Nightclub fracas

This latest incident took place in the early hours of Monday morning, 11 March, outside the nightclub attached to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. According to a Miami Beach arrest report obtained by the local press, McGregor was leaving the venue at about 5AM when a 22 year old man attempted to take his photograph using a cell phone. In the words of the report, McGregor “slapped the victim's phone out of his hand, causing it to fall to the floor. The defendant then stomped on the victim's phone several times, damaging it.” The report goes on to say that McGregor then left the area, taking the man’s phone with him.

The entire incident was captured on CCTV, and after spending the day interviewing witnesses, Miami Beach detectives located the 30 year old at a residence in North Venetia, an exclusive suburb to the north of Miami Beach. McGregor is being held on $12,500 bail, and according to his attorney, McGregor “appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation.”

Becoming a habit

There have been plenty of fighters over the years with a reputation for living close to the edge and courting controversy. However, Conor McGregor is making such a habit of it that even in the eyes of his long-standing fans, he is becoming something of a self-parody. Here are some of his most recent misdemeanours:

. In 2016 at UFC 202, the usual pantomime-style pre-fight exchanges turned ugly when McGregor started throwing full drink cans at the Diaz brothers during a press conference. That cost him a $25,000 fine and 25 hours of community service.

. Last April he was arrested in New York after launching a one-man attack on a bus load of UFC fighters. Two athletes were injured and had to pull out of UFC 223, while McGregor pled guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to five days of community service.

. Six months later, McGregor was involved in ugly scenes following his defeat at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov, an incident that resulted in a $50,000 fine and a six-month suspension from UFC events.

McGregor’s ban should be lifted later this year, and the UFC world is anticipating that he will return to the octagon some time in the summer. However, with each new controversy, the probability of a return to the pinnacle of the sport seems increasingly unlikely.