Conor McGregor breaks silence on bar incident: ‘I was in the wrong’

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Conor McGregor reacts after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov. (John Locher/AP)

Conor McGregor’s been on a tumultuous path since rising to stardom as the UFC’s marquee talent, but the 31-year-old said Thursday he regrets his role in the latest controversial incident attached to his name.

After a video surfaced earlier this month of the former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion punching an elderly man in a Dublin pub for refusing a glass of McGregor’s Proper 12 whiskey, the Irishman spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani Thursday to take responsibility for his behaviour.

“In reality it doesn’t matter what happened there — I was in the wrong. That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did,” McGregor told Helwani. “…I tried to make amends and I made amends back then. But still, that doesn’t even 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’ve been supporting me. I owe it to my mother, my father, my family.

“I owe it to the people that trained me in martial arts — that’s not who I am. That’s not the reason that I got into martial arts or studying combat sport. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario. … To see it, it’s like a dagger into my heart as a young martial artist. So I’m just here to own up to that and move on and carry on, and face what’s coming with it.”

McGregor has been involved in more than one high-profile incident over the past two years, most notably an arrest in March for smashing a man’s phone in Miami, and an altercation during a UFC event in New York that saw McGregor hurl a hand truck at a bus full of fellow fighters.

As for the latest incident, McGregor said he’s willing to own the consequences of his actions.

“Whatever comes my way, I will face it,” he told Helwani. “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 behaviour for a man in my position.”

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