MMA champ has fights and friends with a drug cartel
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
Apparently, MMA champion Conor McGregor is not content to pick fights with just boxing champions. He has reportedly directed his attention towards the Irish drug cartels. More specifically, according to multiple news outlets, McGregor allegedly had an incident on November 27 in a Dublin pub where he punched a 50-year-old man repeatedly in the face. The man is allegedly connected to the Kinahan drug cartel, a large and wealthy gang with connections across the Irish underworld. According to the DailyMail, no charges were filed, and the Kinahan gang may be investigating to “intervene before it escalates.”
It has been an aggressive month for McGregor. On November 10, he leapt into the ring during a Bellator match in Dublin after one fighter had been knocked out. He shoved the referee, prevented the downed fighter from getting up, and slapped a commissioner in the face, causing the fight to end early. This does not come as a surprise, given McGregor’s off-ring reputation, but no charges were filed here, either.
Even less surprising than an overaggressive MMA champion is the involvement of a mob in martial arts. The Kinahan gang is reported to have been active in many sporting competitions across the Republic of Ireland, and since 2015 have been a part of a large on-going gang war with other families. Among those notable killed in the past two years have been Paul Kavanagh, a brother of a major Irish boxer and son of a rival to the Kinahan cartel, and David Byrne, a gangster with strong ties to the Kinahan cartel and a close friend of McGregor’s. McGregor attended both of their funerals.
Given their connections, it appears unlikely that the Kinahan family plan to start a feud with McGregor over the incident, and Dublin police have apparently insisted that no investigation is underway due to a lack of charges filed. McGregor’s alleged connections to this large cartel has had little visible impact on his MMA career, though his behaviour at the Bellator match has caused the company to drop him from future games until further notice.