Just minutes after the UFC 223 media day, Conor Mcgregor, and a team of associates invaded the loading dock of Barclays Center. Video footage captured disturbing images of McGregor and pals throwing garbage cans, chairs, guard rails, and dollies at a transport van carrying fighters to the hosting hotel. One of the dollies broke out a window on the transport, causing lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa to suffer multiple cuts to his face. Chiesa was sent to the hospital for his injuries, and word from Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com says he needed no stitches and will be fighting Anthony Pettis as scheduled. Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, who was also on the bus, was shaken up after the incident but will remain on the card.
Many sources have said that this incident has nothing to do with McGregor being stripped of his lightweight belt, but rather it was due to an incident earlier in the week involving, McGregor’s teammate and friend, Artem Lobov and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Lobov has since been removed from UFC 223 for allegedly being apart of the group that attacked the bus with McGregor. Lobov was set to fight Alex Caceres. Police are currently investigating and want to speak with McGregor. Dana White called the display “criminal” “disgusting” and “despicable”.
Video from the scene also seems to show fighter Charlie Ward in the group, though it is unclear as to his involvement. McGregor was also the object of some scrutiny during Bellator 187 after Ward finished opponent John Redmond at the end of round 1. McGregor ran into the cage to celebrate with Ward and ended up shoving referee Marc Goddard and exchanging words.