BROOKLYN — Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor appeared in court Friday to face assault and criminal mischief charges after an apparent rampage during an Ultimate Fighting Champion press event a day before in New York.
Video footage captured by reporters at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Thursday showed McGregor holding a guardrail and ramming it in the direction of a van said to be carrying his long-standing rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie that McGregor and about 20 people "stormed" an area reserved for members of the media at Barclays and got onto the loading dock, where fighters were getting onto buses after a press conference for Saturday's pay-per-view card.
It was not immediately clear why McGregor was at the Barclays Center.
A New York Police Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that McGregor turned himself in Thursday night.
In a packed courtroom in Brooklyn on Friday, where many McGregor fans turned out in a show of support, the fighter was formally charged with criminal mischief, menacing, assault, attempted assault, and reckless endangerment.
McGregor's bail was set at $50,000 and the next court appearance was scheduled for June 14. The Irish fighter was not required to surrender his passport. McGregor's friend Cian Cowley was also charged and had his bail set at $25,000.
"My client self-surrendered when asked the first time," McGregor's lawyer told the judge. "He directed his friend to surrender... He’s the most visible face on the planet.”
The lawyer also said McGregor "wishes to testify in a grand jury himself and wishes to be present at every proceeding."
McGregor is being accused of “showering” two men, including MMA fighter Michael Chiesa, with glass after throwing a “metal hand truck” into the bus window, as well as punching another man several times in the head, according to court documents provided to BuzzFeed News.
The judge also issued orders of protection in favor of five men, including Chiesa.
According to ESPN, McGregor was looking for Nurmagomedov, whose coach, Ali Abdelaziz, made headlines earlier this week when he said McGregor “only fights when he knows he can win." He also said Nurmagomedov was McGregor’s “daddy.”
“This motherfucker is so afraid of his daddy,” Abdelaziz teased.
In the midst of the melee, Michael Chiesa, a fellow MMA fighter, was hospitalized due to an apparent laceration to his forehead, UFC President Dana White told ESPN.
There’s speculation that the outburst was prompted by the news that the UFC would be stripping McGregor of his 2016 lightweight championship, which has gone undefended since McGregor took a break from the sport to prepare for the birth of his first child.
During a press conference on Wednesday, White said there would be “no interim champ” when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway face off on Saturday night for the lightweight championship.
“One of these guys will be the champion,” he said, talking about Nurmagomedov and Holloway.
McGregor took to Twitter early Thursday morning to express his dissatisfaction with White’s decision.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to McGregor’s representatives for comment.
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