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Conor McGregor Calls Punching Elderly Man “Completely Unacceptable Behavior”

It remains to be seen what type of legal repercussions Conor McGregor [1] incurs, as a result of a highly publicized incident which saw him strike an elderly man. But the former UFC champ and massive star says he’s ready to be accountable for what took place.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

The video that blazed around the world

Recently McGregor’s name returned to headlines around the world, after a video surfaced [2] which captured him sucker punching an elderly man in a Dublin pub. The incident reportedly took place in April, after the man turned down a shot of McGregor’s whiskey, and words were exchanged.

McGregor finally speaks out

Since the video made headlines, McGregor hadn’t commented publicly on the controversy. But, recently he spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani [3], and here’s some of what he had to say about the incident.

“I was in the wrong,” McGregor said. “That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did. … I tried to make amends and I made amends back then. But it doesn’t matter. I was in the wrong. I must come here before you and take accountability and take responsibility. I owe it to the people that have been supporting me. I owe it to my mother, my father, my family. I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts. That’s not who I am. That’s not the reason why I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario.”

“Whatever comes my way, I will face it,” McGregor said. “Whatever comes my way, I deserve it. I will face this head on. I will not hide from it. I was in the wrong. It was completely unacceptable behavior for a man in my position.”

“I need to just stop reacting to the bait,” McGregor said, while talking about another incident this past year, which saw him smash the phone of a man who was trying to take his picture. “People are trying to bait me into things. Am I the fish or am I the whale? I must be calm, I must be zen. I must lead by example. There’s so many people looking up to me. How can I react in this way? I need to get ahold of this and, like I said, I’m working very hard to do this.”

It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to McGregor’s comments. It’s certainly true that he’s been involved in several incidents now that haven’t been good, to put it mildly.

McGregor also reportedly said that he could fight in 2019. The Irish fighter said he was in talks to fight this summer, but a broken hand he incurred push that timeline back. As far as an opponent, McGregor mentioned names like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier, Nate Diaz, Jose Aldo, Max Holloway, Frankie Edgar, Jorge Masvidal and Justin Gaethje. That’s quite the list.