The build up to UFC 223 in Brooklyn has had it’s fair share of drama so far but nobody would have predicted the events which unfolded this evening.
Chaos erupted at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn as UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor stormed into the building with a large group of friends and attacked a bus carrying a number of fighters taking part in Saturdays PPV event.
McGregor and associates threw chairs, metal barriers and other objects at the bus, smashing one of the windows and injuring lightweight contender Michael Chiesa. Khabib Nurmagomedov and his manager Ali Abdelaziz were travelling on the bus and it would appear that they were the intended targets of the attack.
Multiple videos have appeared on social media showing the event as it unfolded.
UFC President Dana White spoke with MMAJunkie in the aftermath of the incident to share news on the victims of the attack and give his thoughts on the worst.
“What happened here today is Conor and approximately 20 guys apparently were let in through the doors by the Mac Life guys, who were credentialed here. They opened the doors for them… They stormed the building, got down to the loading docks where the fighters were getting on the buses and started to attack the buses, throwing trash cans and dollies, and things like that.”
“[They] broke one of the windows and cut Michael Chiesa really bad. He cut his head, cut his face. Rose Namajunas apparently was almost hit. She’s super upset right now and basically left and walked back to the hotel.”
“This is the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company… There is a warrant out for Conor McGregor’s arrest, and they’re looking for him right now. His plane cannot take off. He cannot leave the state of New York… I’m assuming eventually if they don’t catch him, he’ll turn himself in.”
“You can imagine he’s going to be sued beyond belief. This was a real bad career move by him.”
White confirmed that Chiesa sustained multiple cuts and is currently in hospital receiving treatment, putting his planned fight with Anthony Pettis at risk. Following the incident, Chiesa’s coach Rich Little spoke with MMAJunkie and clarified his fighter’s status.
“Conor went bananas and put a beating on the van that we were in looking for Khabib,” Little said. “A million security guards had to restrain him. Mike’s cut up now. He’s got marks on him, for sure. I don’t think too serious. Everything happened so fast, it was just like we got jumped.”
McGregor’s long time friend and training partner Artem Lobov has been pulled from the card as a result of his involvement in the incident. Lobov had been slated to meet Alex Caceres on the preliminary card. There has been no word on whether the UFC are seeking a late replacement to keep Caceres on the card.
Following White’s interview with MMAJunkie, the NYPD issued a statement via PA Sport which explained that there was not a warrant out for McGregor’s arrest but the would like to speak with the Irishman in connection to an incident at the Barclay’s Centre earlier today.