- Conor McGregor is due to return to a New York City courtroom on June 14.
- The UFC fighter faces assault and criminal mischief charges but former New York prosecutors say McGregor has nothing to worry about.
- This means McGregor could go on to secure a comeback bout in UFC – and it could easily be the biggest fight of the year.
Conor McGregor is due to return to a New York City courtroom on June 14 to face assault charges, but former prosecutors claim the UFC fighter has nothing to worry about.
McGregor, 29, was formally charged with three counts of assault and one of criminal mischief after reportedly storming a UFC press conference in April and allegedly throwing guard rails at a bus carrying UFC fighters.
The reported attack, recorded on video, left two athletes requiring hospital treatment and landed McGregor in jail.
McGregor indicated on social media this week that he will fly out to New York to face the charges on Tuesday, ahead of the court date on Thursday.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 9, 2018
But legal experts do not expect to see a stringent punishment.
William Kephart, a former prosecutor in Long Island, claimed McGregor’s is “just a run-of-the-mill case,” in a report on USA Today. Kephart said that the most serious charge is criminal mischief, but added that it is “unlikely” that he will face jail time.
A second former New York prosecutor, Steven Raiser, also told USA Today the charges are “not too serious.” He said: “The good news for McGregor is that the most serious charge is the property damage charge. With no prior criminal history, this will be reduced as part of a plea.”
Should the former prosecutors be proved correct, then it opens up a comeback UFC bout later in 2018 – one UFC can bill as the biggest fight of the year.
The fight of the year
The alleged target McGregor had in mind on the day he reportedly attacked the UFC team bus was Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Dagestan wrestler Nurmagomedov was seen arguing with Artem Lobov, a close friend of McGregor’s, earlier that week – an incident that UFC president Dana White believes influenced McGregor to fly to New York to confront Nurmagomedov, who was one of many fighters on the bus at the time of the attack.
Nurmagomedov emerged unscathed, put the incident behind him, and went on to best Al Iaquinta over five rounds at UFC 223 on April 7 in a performance that saw him win the vacant UFC lightweight championship belt.
Nurmagomedov’s first title defence could be against McGregor.
White once said a bout between the two fighters would be “massive.” He told TSN: “A fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib, that would be massive. I actually think it’s the biggest fight out there.”