Earlier this week the Nevada State Athletic Commission finally ruled on the bottle throwing fracas involving Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz leading up to their August rematch in Las Vegas at UFC 202. The fallout: McGregor would be fined 5 percent of his purse, or $150,000, and serve 50 hours of community service. After the news was announced, McGregor took to Twitter and dismissively said, “I get fined more than these bums get paid!”
At first many people figured he was talking about other UFC fighters, but it may be the Nevada commission members he was dissing. In a recent conversation with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports 1, Dana White said the decision to give McGregor a six figure fine will end up costing the state of Nevada a whole lot more in the long run.
“Conor McGregor hit me yesterday and said ‘I don’t ever want to fight in Nevada again, ever.’” White recounted. “Now how does that make sense for the state of Nevada? That you’re going to try to fine this kid and Nate that much money, it just makes people not want to come fight in our state and that’s not a good thing.”
“Guess what? Conor McGregor doesn’t need Nevada,” White continued. “He can fight anywhere. He can fight in Iowa, we can put his fight on an island off the coast of anywhere. This makes no sense for the state. It’s just terrible.”
Five of McGregor’s last six fights have been held in Las Vegas, and each time the city has been overrun with Irish fans more than willing to shell out big bucks at the local casinos. The UFC, a Las Vegas based company with deep connections in the local gaming industry, actively used the star as a marquee attraction to bring people to the city.
But McGregor has been complaining about the repeat Vegas appearances for a while now. A flight from Dublin to Las Vegas is 14 hours. In comparison, flights from Dublin to New York or other East Coast cities are only around seven hours. McGregor’s refusal to travel to the West Coast was a big part of his removal from UFC 200. And now he has an excuse to completely ditch Las Vegas for good with this NSAC fine, and he’s taken it.
The fine, which represents 5 percent of McGregor’s purse, is high. But it’s exactly the kind of fine the Nevada commission is supposed to deal out when fighters engage in brawls like we saw with Conor and Nate. In the past, the commission has treaded lightly with other combat sports superstars that brought massive dollars into the state. Floyd Mayweather is someone they gave massive leeway to after several incidents of domestic abuse and illegal fights at his gym. This incident shows what happens when they actually drop the hammer on a star big enough to fight back.