Conor McGregor has four of the five top live gate numbers in Las Vegas for the UFC. Yet, we might have seen him fight in the city for the final time.
UFC president Dana White told Colin Cowherd on Wednesday's episode of "The Herd" that McGregor called him this week and told him he never wants to fight in Nevada again. The reason? The $150,000 fine McGregor was hit with by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on Monday.
"Conor McGregor hit me yesterday and said, ‘I don't ever want to fight in Nevada again. Ever,'" White said. "How does that make sense for the state of Nevada? That you're gonna try to fine this kid and Nate that kind of money, it just makes people not want to come fight in our state. And that's not a good thing."
McGregor was fined for his role in an ugly water bottle-throwing incident at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference Aug. 17 at the David Copperfield Theater inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas. McGregor, Nate Diaz and their respective teams threw water bottles at each other during the media event. McGregor even tossed an energy drink can toward Diaz's team from the stage.
On Monday, the NAC fined McGregor 5 percent of his purse (or $150,000 out of his $3 million disclosed pay) and will make him do 50 hours of community service. McGregor will also have to participate in an anti-bullying campaign for the commission.
"Guess what?" White said. "Conor McGregor doesn't need Nevada. He can fight anywhere. He can fight in Iowa, OK? We can put his fight on an island off the coast of anywhere. This makes no sense for the state. It's terrible."
Diaz will go before the NAC at a future meeting, possibly in November, and is likely to face similar discipline.
Initially, the the Nevada deputy attorney general's office recommended a $25,000 fine, 25 days of community service and five hours of media training for McGregor. Commissioner Pat Lundvall wanted McGregor to pay up to $300,000, but the commission settled on $150,000.
White himself called the fine "insane." The UFC didn't levy any discipline toward McGregor or Diaz, preferring to leave it up to the commission.
"I'm not thrilled about it when it happened," White said. "We did the best we could to contain it at the time. But throwing water bottles? C'mon.
"I don't want to go popping off at the mouth here and getting myself in trouble, either, but ridiculous. Insanity."