The former Ultimate Fighting Championship ace was reportedly arrested in January, questioned by authorities and then released. McGregor has not been formally charged with a crime. Irish news outlets reported on the arrest of a national sports star for allegedly raping a woman at a Dublin hotel in January but did not specifically name McGregor, perhaps due to laws that restrict the media from identifying a suspect if they are not convicted of a crime.
According to the Times, “some newsrooms in Ireland have barred employees at meetings from even mentioning his name in connection with the case. Managers have asked staff members to refer to him as the ‘famous sportsman,’ according to a journalist at one of Ireland’s national newspapers.”
The alleged victim claims that the assault occurred at the Beacon Hotel, which is located on the outskirts of Dublin. According to the report, McGregor is known to occasionally stay at the establishment’s penthouse and was a guest there in December. The outlet's sources close to hotel operations claim that the fighter visited before the night of the alleged assault. Authorities have also reportedly obtained evidence from McGregor’s room as well as closed-circuit camera footage from the hotel, although the nature of the video is not specified.
Irish law enforcement -- known as the Gardai -- would not confirm to the Times that McGregor was the subject in question. However, a Gardai spokesperson did confirm that an “unnamed sportsperson” had been arrested on Jan. 17 and then released without being charged. A file has been sent to the prosecutor’s office for consideration, per the report.
McGregor used Twitter to announce that he was retiring early Tuesday morning. There is plenty of speculation that the statement is simply a negotiating ploy, as the SBG Ireland standout has used a similar tactic in the past. McGregor last competed at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, when he suffered a fourth-round submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight championship bout.
“Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today,” McGregor wrote. “I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 26, 2019
I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.
Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
Karen Kessler, a spokesperson for McGregor, released a statement to ESPN denying that the retirement announcement was related to the sexual assault allegations.
"This story has been circulating for some time and it is unclear why it is being reported now," the statement read. "The assumption that the Conor retirement rumor is related to this allegation is absolutely false. Should Conor fight in the future it must be in an environment where fighters are respected for their value, their skill, their hard work and their dedication to the sport."
McGregor has had his share of trouble in recent months. In July, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after throwing a dolly through a bus window carrying UFC fighters and employees at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., prior to UFC 223. Then, he was suspended six months and fined $50,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role in a post-fight melee following the UFC 229 main event. Most recently, McGregor was arrested and charged with strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief after allegedly stealing and destroying a man’s cellphone outside a Miami nightclub on March 11. He posted bond shortly thereafter and was released. He’s due in court next month for an arraignment.