Referee exemplifies class in response to Conor McGregor's classless antics
Disregard the huge payday and it's been a woeful year for Conor McGregor's professional career.
We're a long way from the days when saying, "I would invade his favela on horseback, and would kill anyone who wasn't fit to work," was the most controversial thing Conor McGregor had ever done. That seemed like a silly soundbite to get upset about at the time and considering what he's done since it was extremely tame by his standards.
In just four weeks, 'The Notorious' has had multiple shitstorms which have overshadowed his teammates' performances and his first cinematic release, which admittedly hasn't exactly been receiving glowing reviews from cinephiles. It kicked off with dropping the six-letter f-word in Gdansk and was capped off with that absolute shitshow at Bellator 187 in Dublin on Friday night.
The biggest superstar in the sport isn't the most popular figure among his MMA peers following his latest controversy.
It's amazing how quickly money corrupts. Even someone who seems to have a strong mind will make a beast of themselves before long.
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) November 10, 2017
Had McGregor waited just a minute for the doctors to make sure John Redmond was alright after being knocked out by Charlie Ward before entering the cage, all this controversy could have been avoided. Instead, he leapt into the cage immediately after the knockout blow and lost the rag when referee Marc Goddard rightfully tried to get him to leave.
The rules are there for everyone, McGregor is not exempt from them because of his star power. The reason why the cage is shut down after a knockout is for the safety of the fighters. McGregor put Johnny Jitzu's safety in jeopardy when he charged down Goddard to push him right in front of the Team Ryano man.
If that wasn't bad enough, McGregor returned after being ejected to slap a Bellator employee in the face, which proved to be the faeces-encrusted cherry atop the three-tiered turd cake.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 10, 2017
With all this mayhem following him of late, Goddard deserves every accolade for keeping a level-head.
The famed MMA referee had to warn McGregor in Gdansk and keep the peace when all hell broke loose after Norman Parke's controversial 'No Contest' to Mateusz Gamrot at KSW Dublin. When McGregor attempted to antagonise Goddard, he didn't react.
Instead, he issued a simple statement on how he handles himself as a professional. He loves the sport and is a loyal servant to it. It will take a lot more than a shove and some insults to get him to betray that part of his life.
I operate with integrity, belief and values.
I hold MMA in a deep rooted place in my life and have considered myself most fortunate to have done so for so long.
Family first. Everything else second.
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) November 11, 2017
We'll be seeing Goddard doing his job at an MMA event in the near future, but after this latest incident, it could be a while before we see McGregor enter a cage or ring again.