UFC’s Conor McGregor shoves referee, slaps official at Bellator 187

The UFC’s biggest star just gave the UFC’s biggest competitor, Bellator MMA, some invaluable publicity.

Conor McGregor was cageside at Friday’s Bellator 187 event at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland supporting several of his teammates, including middleweight Charlie Ward who earned a knockout victory over John Redmond. Seconds after Ward won, McGregor hopped into the cage to celebrate with Ward but then he got into a physical altercation with referee Marc Goddard.

The event is set to air Friday night in North America on a tape delay and Bellator is already using video of the incident to promote their product.

McGregor should not have been in the cage under any circumstances considering he was not an official member of Ward’s corner.

Though McGregor’s actions are inexcusable, it’s not a complete mystery why the UFC lightweight champion might have an issue with Goddard.

At a recent UFC Fight Night event in Gdansk, Poland, McGregor caused a scene cageside while supporting close friend and training partner Artem Lobov. McGregor was so vocal and animated during Lobov’s fight with Andre Fili that Goddard paused the action in the cage to give McGregor a tongue-lashing.

“What’s got into you mate? Act professional,” Goddard could be heard telling McGregor.

In addition to Friday’s encounter with Goddard in the cage, McGregor also struck a member of the athletic commission who was attempting to prevent McGregor from entering the cage a second time.

UFC president Dana White has released fighters in the past for shoving an official. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the UFC does to punish McGregor.