NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ultimate fighting star Conor McGregor appeared in a Brooklyn courtroom Friday afternoon in the wake of a backstage melee he allegedly instigated that forced the removal of three fights from UFC’s biggest card of the year.
McGregor, looking composed before the judge alongside fellow defendant Cian Cowley, was ordered to stay away from a list of MMA members and have no contact with them, including on social media.
Those under the order of protection include Michael Chiesa, Ozzy Arias, Ray Borg and Ricardo Chico. Any contact would lead to either man’s rearrest.
McGregor is charged with assault, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. He posted $50,000 bail, with his next court appearance scheduled for June 14.
Conor McGregor appears in a Brooklyn courtroom Friday afternoon.
McGregor had turned himself into police Thursday night.
Conor McGregor led from Brooklyn police station Friday morning.
UFC President Dana White said Friday he spoke to McGregor via text.
“It was probably the worst conversation we ever had,” White told FS1’s “First Things First” on Friday morning. “We talked yesterday before he turned himself in.
“It’s not that I don’t think he understood what happened. He justified it. It was justified to him.”
White said the 29-year-old McGregor said he was sorry about the fighters who were injured, but, “this had to be done.”
Fans on the street shouted at McGregor Friday morning as he was escorted into a waiting car.
“He’ll always be the champ cause he’s the toughest bastard out there and we love him,” fan Robert Frost told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “He shouldn’t be going crazy like that, throwing things through windows, hurting people but Dana White wants to mess with him, Conor’s not gonna hold back — throw a little cart through the window, whatever he’s gotta do cause he’s the champ.”
“Listen, he’s in big sport where he’s a fighter and unfortunately it kind of comes with the territory to be at that level, be that prestigious, you’re gonna have a couple of screws loose,” said fan Frank Arcuri. “You’re gonna get a little aggressive.”
Video allegedly showed McGregor with a group of people causing chaos Thursday at the loading dock at Barclays Center following a news conference for UFC 223.
Footage posted to Instagram allegedly shows a man with a metal barricade charging toward a bus in the loading dock.
Video from TMZ Sports shows what happens next as the bus with UFC fighters and others on board tries to drive away. A man, who police identify as McGregor, is seen hurling a metal hand cart at a window, Burrell reported.
Mixed martial artists Felice Herrig watched the attack unfold from inside another bus.
“It’s chaos and you don’t know what to do, you don’t know what’s happening, and it was scary, it was scary for everybody,” she said. “Every single person on the fighter buses – he put our lives in danger.
“Conor McGregor should be cut from the UFC completely, completely,” she added.
White told ESPN Thursday, “It’s disgusting and I don’t think anybody is going to be a huge Conor McGregor fan after this.”
A UFC executive later tweeted, “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through. Trapped in the bus while they are throwing hand trucks, chairs and even a bike rack through the windows.”
McGregor was not scheduled to be part of Saturday’s fight, which will determine who takes his title as the next lightweight champion.
UFC Officials say three people were hurt, including two fighters, and said three fights on Saturday’s UFC 223 card have been scrapped as a result of the incident.
“The organization deems today’s disruption completely unacceptable and is currently working on the consequences that will follow,” UFC said in a statement. “Individuals involved in the incident are not welcome at tomorrow’s ceremonial weigh-in or Saturday’s event at Barclays Center.”
Michael Chiesa was sent to the hospital with injuries sustained in the attack and was forced out of his scheduled fight against Anthony Pettis.
“A decision was made by the New York State Athletic Commission to pull me from UFC 223,” Chiesa tweeted. “I’m devastated to say the least. @showtimepettis I hope to run this match up ASAP. June 9th in your backyard. That’s all I have to say for now. Much love.”
Flyweight Ray Borg also suffered multiple cornea abrasions and his fight against Brandon Moreno was also scratched.
McGregor’s fellow fighter, Cian Cowley from Ireland, was also charged in the incident.
McGregor hasn’t fought for UFC since November 2016 and was stripped this week by White of the 155-pound championship he had never defended. White also said this week he did not expect McGregor to attend Saturday’s fights.
McGregor profanely responded on Twitter and wrote, “You’ll strip me of nothing.”
McGregor last fought at all in a boxing match he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Aug. 26, 2017. White said this week in New York that McGregor would fight again for UFC this year. McGregor’s alleged actions now put any future fights very much in doubt.
McGregor once held the 145 and 155-pound championships at the same time and boldly stated he wanted an ownership stake in UFC.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)