Mike Mazzulli’s recent comment that Conor McGregor “is not bigger than the sport of MMA” was an ominous one for the UFC lightweight champion but it appears as though the the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation(MTDAR), of which Mazzulli is the director, are not planning to take any direct action against McGregor over his behaviour at the 3Arena in Dublin last night.
MTDAR, who, in the absence of a local commission capable of overseeing MMA events, acted as a regulatory body for last night’s Bellator 187 event in the Irish capital, have today released a statement accusing McGregor of jeopardizing the safety of both his teammate Charlie Ward and Ward’s foe John Redmond by jumping into the cage to celebrate at the close of the middleweight fight, as well as of assaulting veteran English official Marc Goddard.
“While the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation (MTDAR) was regulating Bellator 187 in Dublin, Ireland, on November 10, 2017, the following events took place during the Ward vs Redmond bout,” read the statement.
“Mr. Conor McGregor who was a spectator at the time, disrupted the event by scaling the cage prior to the conclusion of the bout. Mr. McGregor’s conduct jeopardized the health and safety of the bout participants by delaying necessary medical attention to the fighters that were injured during the round.
“In addition, Mr. McGregor assaulted Referee Mark Goddard and a Bellator staff(via MMAJunkie).”
However, the statement does not suggest that MTDAR will look to impose sanctions. As ESPN’s Brett Okamoto noted on Twitter, this seems to be down to the fact that they never licensed McGregor in any capacity to begin with.
So, the way I read this, Mohegan Tribe commission, which oversaw the Bellator event, won't be formally disciplining McGregor, citing he's not a licensed fighter or cornerman in their jurisdiction.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 11, 2017
Rather they have contacted both McGregor’s promoters, the UFC, and the various commissions under which the 29-year-old Pay-per-view star is licensed, to discuss the incident. Presumably, they will be encouraging those entities to take action against the SBG fighter.
“The MTDAR has been in consultation with the upper management of the UFC regarding Mr. McGregor’s inappropriate and unacceptable behavior,” the statement continued.
“The MTDAR has also contacted members of the Association of Boxing Commissioners that have licensed Mr. McGregor in their jurisdictions to inform them of Mr. McGregor’s behavior.”
While the UFC may indeed take some action, one would have to assume that they will be lenient. The promotion may have released Jason High for pushing a referee in 2014 but they are a business, not a regulatory body and they will surely be reluctant to heavily sanction their cash cow. One or more of the commissions, however, might be less so.