Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett said today that an agreement had been reached with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, over his punishment for water bottle and energy drink can frisbee with Nate Diaz and other friends at a UFC 202 media event. McGregor has agreed to pay a fine of $25,000 and to complete 25 hours of community service within six months, plus court costs.
He was originally fined 5% of his $3,000,000 show purse, a total of $150,000. It was later explained that half the the $150,000 was a $75,000 fine and the other half was an estimation of the worth of McGregor’s participation in NSAC-branded anti-bullying PSA.
The UFC has an impeccable record with regards to regulation, and runs toward it. For example, the league spent nine years and millions of dollars getting mixed martial arts regulated in New York, overcoming literally the stupidest anti-MMA argument of all time.
However, support for the concept of the government regulation of mixed martial arts does not mean condoning every step taken by every commission in North America.
When the NSAC tried to ban Wanderlei Silva for a life after he ran from a PED test in 2014, a judge overturned the punishment, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” When the NSAC tried to ban Nick Diaz for five years for NOT testing positive for the demon weed marijuana, he fought back legally, and the commission quietly changed the five years to 18 months, retroactively to the date of the “offense.”
When the NSAC fined McGregor $150,000 back in October, UFC president Dana White was not impressed. And McGregor threatened to boycott fighting in Vegas. White was asked if under McGregor’s circumstance he would fight in Nevada?
“I would not,” replied White. “That guy can fight in Iowa and sell tickets – it doesn’t matter. He can fight on an island off the coast of Peru and sell tickets. Las Vegas needs him, he doesn’t need Las Vegas.”
“If you threw a water bottle, and you got fined $150,000, would you fight there again? If you threw a water bottle and they fined you $25,000, that’s a lot of money. A lot of money.”
Now McGregor is fined $25,000, which is a lot of money, but does not seem arbitrary and capricious.