Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, is never one to be short of opinions, so it was somewhat of a surprise that he had very little to say about his top star, Conor McGregor, allegedly being involved in yet another violent altercation with a non-fighter (read details here).
News came out on Oct. 17, 2021, that Italian television personality and DJ, Francesco Facchinetti, was claiming the Irish sports star had popped him in the face, breaking his nose. Facchinetti and his wife had apparently spent a few hours “having fun” with McGregor at a club, only to have “The Notorious” punch him out of nowhere.
Facchinetti claims he plans to sue, but no word has come out regarding potential criminal charges.
“We talked about it a little bit today in matchmaking — I don’t know enough about it,” White said following the latest edition of his “Contender Series” on ESPN+. “I honestly don’t even know enough about it to comment on it. Obviously, I’ve seen what you guys ... you guys have seen more than me, actually, to be honest with you. I haven’t talked to Conor, so I don’t know what the truth is. I don’t know exactly what happened. So to comment on it, I really can’t.”
This is the second bizarre physical incident from McGregor in little more than one month. Back in mid-September, he made headlines by attacking rapper Machine Gun Kelly on the MTV Music Video Awards red carpet.
“These are the things that happen sometimes,” he said (the new, “It is what it is?”). “This isn’t Microsoft. We’re in a crazy f—king business here. I think we all know Conor’s personality, and we’ve got some guys that were like that. These guys are fighters, and this is the fight business. Crazy s—t happens in the fight business.”
Not that we should expect a strong response from UFC. Since being bought by Endeavor, UFC’s “Code of Conduct” policy has been practically thrown in the trash. Lower level fighters getting in legal trouble may or may not find themselves cut after disturbing incidents, but no one expects UFC to release stars like Conor McGregor or Jon Jones no matter how bad the incidents they’re involved in are.
And as Chael Sonnen pointed out recently, doing nothing is in a way its own punishment: both Jones and McGregor have far greater earning potential outside of their existing UFC contracts. So if you want them punished, you don’t want the promotion to fire them. Then again, if you just want some sort of action from UFC brass that might make their fighters think twice about assaulting members of the general public ... well then, it seems like that may be too much to ask for.