Conor McGregor incident may have caused huge fight to be moved to another continent 4 years ago

Conor McGregor incident may have caused huge fight to be moved to another continent

What Conor McGregor did in Brooklyn definitely affected one card, and it may have impacted on another.

After Conor McGregor threw that dolly through the red corner fighters' bus window, three big fights on UFC 223 fell through.

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Michael Chiesa was forced to withdraw from his fight against former lightweight king Anthony Pettis after sustaining cuts to his face. One-time flyweight title challenger Ray Borg had to pull out of his scheduled bout against Brandon Moreno after suffering corneal abrasions from the shards. And, of course, because of Artem Lobov's involvement, his scheduled bout against Alex Caceres was scrapped.

While McGregor's actions had a direct impact on UFC 223, they may have also affected the next PPV.

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Security risk

Former 155 lb champion Rafael dos Anjos is set to take on Colby Covington for the interim welterweight strap at UFC 225 in Chicago. The fight announcement was made at the UFC's 25th anniversary press conference which took place the day after the bus incident in Brooklyn.

The initial plan was for the fight to go down at UFC 224 in Rio. Even dos Anjos understood a homecoming was on the cards, but about an hour before he landed in New York, he received a 'call me' message from Sean Shelby. When he rang the UFC matchmaker, he was informed that the fight had been postponed until UFC 225.

As he explained on the MMA Hour that he believes the fight was moved because of the bus attack.

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"I flew to New York to have the fight announced in Rio, but I think was because of that Conor thing. After that incident with the bus and all of that I think the UFC was kind of afraid. Colby's been talking a lot of crap about Brazilians and if something happened there, the security couldn't hold one guy, how could they hold a Brazilian crowd going crazy because of the stuff this guy has been saying? I think it was because of that, you know?"

Changing the script

Having the fight in the USA rather than Brazil will really change the dynamic of the fight. Covington has successfully molded himself into a villain, especially in the eyes of Brazilian fans.

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The last time he fought in the country, he defeated legendary fighter fighter Demian Maia. However, it wasn't the win that grabbed the headline. It was his victory speech. He was showered with boos and projectiles were thrown as he made his exit after he insulted the entire nation.

"Brazil, you're a dump. All you filthy animals suck... we ain't translating tonight, baby."

That iconic line led to a cartoonish beef with Fabricio Werdum which culminated in the former heavyweight champion hurling a boomerang at him in Australia. Dos Anjos actually wore a boomerang t-shirt at the 25th anniversary presser in reference to this altercation.

Conor McGregor

Disappointing

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RDA is expected to have the crowd's backing in Chicago, but he admitted being a little disappointed about not being able to fight on home soil. However, he understands why the UFC would make this decision because of security reasons.

"Especially me getting the belt there, it would be really cool. The one thing, Rio is not Sao Paulo. The crowd in Sao Paulo is different to the crowd in Rio. Rio people are more savage (laughs)... Some fans, they don’t understand the business. People get offended, you know? They get offended by, some guy comes to your country and curses everybody and talks bad about the whole crowd. People get upset, and I get it. I get it. I understand them.”

By the sounds of it, not travelling to Brazil is a good thing for Covington's safety. Among the Brazilian MMA community, the most nationalistic of all combat sports fans, he's public enemy number one.