Following a public hearing on Monday, Conor McGregor was fined a whopping $150,000 as punishment for his bottle-throwing melee with the Nate Diaz crew at the UFC 202 press conference back in August. As if that wasn't already enough, the "Notorious" featherweight champion was also sentenced to complete 50 hours of community service and film an anti-bullying campaign video for throwing a couple energy drinks and water bottles into a crowd.
It was the latest in what has been a head-scratching series of decisions from the Nevada Athletic Commission, which in the past couple years alone have included a five-year ban of Nick Diaz for a positive marijuana test (which was later downgraded to 18 months) and a lifetime ban of Wanderlei Silva for evading a drug test in 2014 (which was later overturned by a district judge).
Unfortunately for both the NAC and McGregor fans based in the fight capital of the world, it may also have been a costly decision for another reason entirely.
Appearing on Colin Cowherd's' The Herd this afternoon, Dana White revealed that McGregor may never have another fight in Nevada as a result of the commission's decision.
"Conor McGregor [called] me yesterday and said 'I don't ever want to fight in Nevada again. Ever," said White. "Now how does that make sense for the state of Nevada? It makes people not want to come fight in our state, and that's not a good thing ... and guess what? Conor McGregor doesn't need Nevada. He can fight anywhere."
Obviously, it would be foolish to suggest that the NAC should start taking implications like a fighter's drawing power into their decisions, but at the same time, it's hard to find any real logic or line of reasoning behind their insane fine of McGregor.
The real issue here boils down to the fact that the NAC's decision-making process has proven time and time again to be as arbitrary as the fines and suspensions they hand out. As Ben Fowlkes of MMAJunkie put it:
What did the NSAC accomplish by lowering the boom on McGregor? It grabbed some of his cash. It compelled him into the service of the community....It also reminded all fighters that if you get in trouble in Nevada, you put yourself at the whims of people who will first decide how much money they need before they decide how much you should pay. They’ll factor in what they think of your ego, and whether you might need to be taken down a peg or two. They’ll be accountable to no one, unless you’re willing to spend the time and money to take them to court.
We've already laid out what the implications of McGregor's punishment might mean for Nate Diaz (mainly, that we may soon live in a world that sees a Diaz brother appear in a PSA), but we'll have to wait until his hearing in November to register a final verdict.