“I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekend’s fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line,” McGregor wrote on Instagram. “As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard.”
McGregor entered the cage following SBG Ireland teammate Charlie Ward’s knockout victory over John Redmond at Bellator 187 on Friday in Dublin. Although the matchup ended with one second remaining in the first frame, the contest had not been waved off when McGregor made his appearance. McGregor then shoved referee Marc Goddard and yelled at him as officials attempted to remove the Dublin native from the cage.
On Monday, McGregor deleted the following tweet: "Bloke KO'd on floor bout a minute straight and ref trying to say fights not over Conor. That's when I lost it. F--- yous all.”
In his Instagram post, McGregor did not, however, directly apologize to Goddard.
“The referee Marc Godard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighter’s coach. The fight was over,” McGregor said. “After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone.
“I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time,” he continued. “That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all! I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.”
I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekends fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line. As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard. The referee Marc Godard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over. After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone. I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time. That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all! I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.
Meanwhile, Goddard released his own lengthy statement on the incident. According to the veteran official, his primary concern was that McGregor had entered the cage before the bout had officially ended.
“As the round drew to a close the 10-second warning sounded and that was heard and acknowledged by me. Soon after Charlie Ward connected with a left hand that slumped John Redmond to his knees. At this exact point I could not and had not made my determination that John was either out of the contest or not in the position to intelligently defend himself,” Goddard wrote.
“The punch and action that followed naturally resulted in a surge of crowd noise, one that was so significant I had already made my determination that I could not audibly hear the bell sound for the end of the round, I had made my decision to step in with the belief that bell had indeed been sounded, when in actual fact it had not. This is a critical fact to the ensuing proceedings.
“At this point on my step in, and you will clearly see from the video replay that I only step across and do not wave the fight off. Charlie Ward, understandably so had reeled off in celebration thinking that I had indeed ended the contest and not as I had actually done, called time on what I believed to be the end of the round. Two distinctly different endings.”
It was then that McGregor entered the cage and tackled Ward in celebration. Since Goddard had not yet waved off the bout, he moved in to approach Ward and let him know the fight had not yet concluded.
“As I see Conor McGregor in the ring -- this is the ONLY reason that I approach Mr. Ward. Conor is of zero concern to me at this point, he ‘happened to be there’ [wrongly] and my intention again as you will clearly see from the video is to approach Charlie to let him know that the fight was not at that point officially over, that he should return to his corner and wait for my assessment and call,” Goddard wrote. “Had I indeed ended the bout then the fact Conor McGregor was in the ring would have been of zero concern to me and I wouldn’t even have approached them. I would have no need to.
“I was talking only to Charlie Ward at this point and you will see me put my arms between him and Conor McGregor, trying to separate and restore order to notify him to go back to his corner and continue the rest period, I was trying to communicate with Charlie Ward and then trying to tell Conor to leave, it wasn’t done yet,” he continued. “This is when Conor McGregor began firstly his verbal assault in my direction. My only thought at this point was to notify Charlie Ward, and his corner team, of my decision at the time and restore order to the fighting area. Also the condition of John Redmond and then subsequently bringing in the [doctor] in the rest period to make a determination. Of course the ensuing melee and confusion had completely prevented that from happening, that is the result of the actions of one man.”
Goddard would add that McGregor’s shove was an “insignificant touch of no concern to me,” while pointing out that he never pushed the UFC star, instead putting his arms between McGregor and Ward. Goddard also refuted McGregor’s claim that he acted irresponsibly toward Redmond while the fighter was down.
“At no point did I attempt to ‘pick up an unconscious fighter’ [he was not unconscious] and of course would never ‘force the fight to continue,’” Goddard wrote.
McGregor and Goddard clashed previously at UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland on Oct. 21. During a featherweight bout between Artem Lobov and Andre Fili, McGregor left his seat to shout instructions to Lobov, one of his training partners. Since McGregor was not a licensed corner for that particular fight, Goddard, who was officiating the contest, ordered him to return to his seat. Goddard expressed no ill will toward McGregor for his actions, either then or at Bellator 187.
“I do not wish for any further action to be taken against any party, in particular Conor McGregor, but ultimately that is entirely out of my hands,” Goddard wrote. “I hope that the situation can be reviewed, learned from on how we could prevent a repeat instance and then case closed, we move on for the good of the sport.
“I have known, witnessed and refereed Conor on many previous occasions over the years and watched, even in support of his meteoric rise, speaking publically to commend him and offer an insight when others had turned against him. I have known Conor before he was the mega star that he is now, long before he amassed his fame and fortune -- the difference being I respected him the same and treated him no different back then.”