The UFC’s unwritten mission statement these days seems to be ‘ignore it, it will go away’
Before Conor McGregor announced he was in the running for a coaching spot on the Ultimate Fighter and that he had been hit by a car while riding his bike, news broke that the former two-division UFC champion was once again under investigation for assault of a woman.
During a birthday party in July 2022, McGregor reportedly invited a woman he recognized from his Dublin, Ireland neighborhood into the VIP area of the Ocean Beach Club in Ibiza, where he was celebrating his 34th birthday. After exiting the club, the woman joined a group of people on McGregor’s yacht.
Once on the yacht, the woman said McGregor insulted her appearance. The UFC fighter then reportedly kicked her in the stomach, punched her in the face and threatened to drown her. To escape McGregor, who the woman said looked “possessed,” she jumped from the yacht, where a Red Cross boat rescued her. She also said of McGregor, “I think he would have killed me if I hadn’t left the yacht.”
No charges were filed at the time of the incident because the woman was reportedly in shock. While speaking to authorities, she was reportedly wearing nothing but her bikini and had no money or phone and wanted to return to her hotel as soon as possible.
Authorities in Ibiza opened the investigation into McGregor after they learned that the woman had reported the assault to a Garda Station in Crumlin, Ireland.
Bloody Elbow reached out to the UFC for comment on the most recent investigation of McGregor, but received no response.
The silence from the UFC is reminiscent of the quiet from the promotion after UFC president Dana White was caught on video slapping his wife, Anne, on New Year’s Eve during a family vacation.
With McGregor’s history and the seriousness of these recent allegations, it was a shock that the UFC didn’t acknowledge the investigation that has been launched regarding McGregor.
At the very least, the promotion could have easily offered a statement acknowledging their awareness of the investigation and that they are monitoring the outcome. If the promotion was feeling generous, it could have even included language, such as, “the organization does not tolerate behavior of this nature from any athletes under contract with the UFC.” The UFC could have gone so far as to even mention its “UFC Fighter Code of Conduct,” which states:
“Fighters shall conduct themselves in accordance with commonly accepted standards of decency, social convention, and morals, and fighters will not commit any act or become involved in any situation or occurrence or make any statement which will reflect negatively upon or bring disrepute, contempt, scandal, ridicule or disdain to the fighter or the UFC.”
Instead, the UFC remained silent. For those who hoped the UFC would take matters of reported violence against women more seriously in the wake of White’s incident, the lack of a response to the report on McGregor has to be disconcerting.
I’m not saying McGregor should face repercussions from the promotion before the case gets sorted. But to not acknowledge that the promotion’s second biggest star—outside of White himself—is under investigation for another act of violence again shows the UFC’s priority is to keep the machine chugging along and to ignore any obstacle that interferes with that forward momentum.
If the UFC has an unwritten mission statement these days, it might just be: If we ignore it, it will eventually go away.
McGregor’s reps told MMA Mania, “Mr. McGregor is steadfast in his denial of all the accusations made by a guest on his boat”