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Conor McGregor vs The Kinahan Cartel: The Pub Brawl

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(26 November 2017 – night of the event)

Conor 'Notorious' McGregor is by no means a regular guy. In the UFC, the Irish fighter has long earned a reputation for himself by completely destroying his opponents with his merciless MMA skills. His flawless fighting abilities, on the other hand, received a lot of criticism as he decided to use them outside of the Octagon. Long term fans will surely remember the incident that happened November 2017 as ‘the Notorious’ was facing a €900,000 bounty for reportedly punching a member of the Irish cartel.

Although the details were always sketchy and never fully saw the light of the day, here’s what we know about what actually happened.

On the night of the event, McGregor reportedly stormed into a pub in Ireland and assaulted a known mafia associate, following a disagreement.

According to one source, McGregor was seen by punters entering the bar that Sunday night before the brawl broke out, which supposedly involved the UFC posterboy, a young man, a man in his 50s, and a fourth man. According to the reports, the young man was punched in the head, while a man in his 50s claiming to be a close acquaintance of drug dealer Graham 'The Wig' Whelan, was punched twice in the face. Suspicions were, the older man was actually The Wig’s father. According to the storym both Whelan and the man McGregor was accused of punching were members of Dublin's Kinahan cartel.

The event was first reported by The Independent, which did not specifically mention McGregor, instead referring to a "well-known Irish personality" and a "sports star."

Following the publication of The Independent's investigation, McGregor responded by posting a video to his Instagram account with a hoodie over his face and the caption "the celebrity," which some saw as an admission that he was the man mentioned in the report.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcBqNAGgn5Q/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=8d983ff6-481c-4906-92cc-603d98decee7

As reported by The International Business Times, McGregor's activities resulted in a €900,000 bounty placed on his head, requiring him to pay protection money or risk being killed. Paul Williams, the Irish criminal reporter, said the following about McGregor at the time:

"I have to say about this, and I'm wearing my old, veteran crime reporter hat. Conor McGregor is in a very dangerous place at the moment. He has come into conflict through probably no fault of his own, with a group of very, very dangerous people who are tied up with the Kinahans.”

Williams went on to add that if McGregor did not already make arrangements to leave the country, he would have been approached by Garda (Irish national police) and warned that a threat on his safety is a possibility. The Kinahan cartel, according to Williams, was unconcerned about how famous McGregor is or how visible he is.

The difficulty in following this story is that much of it is based on speculation and rumor, as one might expect from a story concerning the Irish mafia. McGregor's father dismissed the reports as "crazy," insisting that his son had nothing to be concerned about. This mirrored some skepticism about the tale, with others claiming that if the threats were true, McGregor would have already departed Ireland while the story was still hot.

Little is known about the threats' legitimacy or whether they were even real at this time.

If former MMA heavyweight Brendan Schaub is to be believed, UFC icon McGregor was in actual severe trouble. Schaub revealed the following on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience:

"People that I know in Dublin are blowing me up and saying, 'It's real. Conor is in a bit of trouble'", adding "(McGregor) has a friend from one area of Ireland that's in the mafia and got beat up by these guys. Conor finds out that the guys who beat up his friend are in this bar, so Conor comes in there and beats the hell out of that guy. That guy is associated with a pretty intense mafia family over there, so now there's a hit out on Conor for $900,000," 

When asked by reporters about the threats against his life, McGregor simply replied,

“Come and get me.”

.....

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