UFC star Conor McGregor told ESPN on Thursday he “was in the wrong” when he punched an older man inside a Dublin bar in April.
McGregor spoke one week after a video obtained by TMZ showed him twice putting a glass in front of the older man, purportedly to pour McGregor’s whiskey brand. The man twice moves the glass away before the former UFC champ shoots out his left fist to hit him in the face.
“I was in the wrong,” McGregor told ESPN. “That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did. … I tried to make amends and I made amends back then. But it doesn’t matter. I was in the wrong. I must come here before you and take accountability and take responsibility.”
The video then showed two other men restraining McGregor and pushing the Irishman out of the frame of the video, which did not include audio.
McGregor said he owed it to his supporters to apologize for his behaviour.
“I owe it to my mother, my father, my family,” he said. “I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts. That’s not who I am. That’s not the reason why I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario.”
TMZ reported that police began an investigation in April when the Irish Mirror reported there was a verbal exchange before the punch. A police spokesman told ESPN an investigation was ongoing and no arrests had been made.
“Whatever comes my way, I will face it,” McGregor said. “Whatever comes my way, I deserve it. I will face this head on. I will not hide from it. I was in the wrong. It was completely unacceptable behaviour for a man in my position.”
McGregor has been involved in other recent altercations, including being arrested on March 11 for allegedly stealing and smashing a man’s phone outside a Miami Beach hotel. Charges were dropped.
Video showed him last year throwing objects at a bus at the Barclays Center in New York, and he subsequently was sued by MMA fighter Michael Chiesa. McGregor accepted a plea deal in the incident and agreed to serve five days of community service.
–Field Level Media