Rumours and reports suggesting that Conor McGregor was recently involved in a brawl at a pub in Dublin and that he had fallen foul of the Kinahan cartel as a result got the entire MMA world talking last week.
McGregor was allegedly involved in an altercation with a man at Crumlin’s Black Forge pub last weekend, during the course of which it is claimed he struck another man with close links to convicted drug dealer Graham ‘The Wig’ Whelan.
On Wednesday, top Irish crime reporter Paul Williams warned that McGregor could be in “very, very serious danger” in the wake of the alleged incident.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror on Thursday, however, the fighter’s father Tony McGregor branded the rumours “absolute nonsense” , and when he appeared at a Dublin court to face a speeding charge later that same day, Conor himself referred to the murmurings in equally dismissive but far more colourful language.
“It’s all bollocks,” the UFC lightweight champion could be heard saying as he emerged from the court, only to be greeted by a media throng.
Whether there is any truth to the rumours or not, folks continue to talk.
With UFC 218 taking place in his hometown of Detroit this weekend, Kevin Lee was on media duty for the promotion. And, as a top contender in the same division as McGregor, Lee couldn’t escape questions about the Irishman’s supposed issues outside the cage.
“Yeah, that boy fuckin’ up.” said Lee, when asked if he had been following the story. “Look, I don’t know if the rumours are true or whatever. I mean, he better get his shit together because he’s got a long mountain to climb.”
“People are saying, ‘Oh, is he going to fight? Is he going to do this?’ I take the man for his word. He says he’s a fighter. I think he’s going to come back. He has to come back and try to defend that title. He’s got a long mountain to climb up there. He’s got Tony [Ferguson]. As soon as he comes back, Tony’s going to beat the hell out of him. As soon as he loses that one, I’m going to beat the hell out of him and then he’s going to be down in the dirt.
“That $100 million, it’s cool and all. He’s spending it fast. You can blow through that quick – ask Floyd Mayweather. Floyd did that about six or seven times. $100 million, I mean you can blow through it.
“I don’t think he really understands what he is getting himself into if he is really messing around with the Irish mob. I don’t think he is really from the streets like that. I don’t think he wants none of that smoke, but that’s on him. I’m just looking forward to his comeback and then looking forward to taking him out after he gets his ass beat.
In early October, Lee fought Tony Ferguson for the UFC’s interim lightweight title and a shot at McGregor, but came up short. After dominating early, ‘The Motown Phenom’ seemed to tire and was submitted by a Ferguson triangle choke in the third round. Ferguson is expected to face McGregor upon his return to the octagon, but at present a great deal of uncertainty surrounds the Irishman’s fighting future.