Conor McGregor interview: UFC star on Irish whiskey dispute and comeback plans

Conor McGregor interview: UFC star on Irish whiskey dispute and comeback plans

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Conor McGregor was “in the wrong” when he punch a 50-year-old man during an altercation over his brand of whiskey in an Irish pub.

Last week, footage emerged of the 31-year-old former UFC two-weight world champion striking the man in the face, after he refused to drink a glass of his whiskey.

The incident took place at The Marble Arch Pub in Dublin in April and is currently being investigated by the Garda, Ireland’s national police.

“I was in the wrong,” McGregor said in an interview with ESPN. “That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did.

“I tried to make amends and I made amends back then. But it doesn’t 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 have been supporting me. I owe it to my mother, my father, my family. I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts.

“That’s not who I am. That’s not the reason why I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario.”

The incident was not the first time McGregor has found himself in trouble with the law this year.

In March, McGregor was arrested in Miami for allegedly stealing the mobile phone of a man who was attempting to take his photo outside a nightclub.

He was charged by the Miami Beach Police Department with strong-armed robbery and misdemeanour criminal mischief. Those charges were dropped in May but McGregor admitted that he was once again in the wrong on that occasion.

“I need to just stop reacting to the bait,” McGregor said. “People are trying to bait me into things. Am I the fish or am I the whale? I must be calm, I must be zen. I must lead by example.

“There’s so many people looking up to me. How can I react in this way? I need to get ahold of this and, like I said, I’m working very hard to do this.”

McGregor added that returning to the UFC before the end of 2019 is “a possibility”.

McGregor has not ruled out fighting again in 2019 (ESPN)

The Irishman is currently recovering from surgery on a broken left hand he suffered in May. He last fought in the UFC in October 2018, when he was soundly beaten by arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title fight.

“I must get my head screwed on and just get back in the game and fight for redemption, retribution, respect: the things that made me the man I am,” McGregor added. “And that’s what I will do.”

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