MMA fighter Conor McGregor is still in the headlines, but those headlines aren’t good. McGregor was arrested after attacking a bus full of UFC fighters after a UFC 223 press conference last April, and while he eventually struck a plea deal and avoided jail time, that case still didn’t reflect well on him. He also tried to open a press conference to the public (but only if they bought his whiskey) ahead of UFC 229 in September. And now, he’s been arrested in Miami after allegedly grabbing a fan’s phone, smashing it and walking away with it early Monday morning. Here’s more on that from David Ovalle of The Miami Herald:
Mixed Martial Arts star fighter Conor McGregor was arrested Monday evening after police said he smashed a fan’s phone outside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.
McGregor, 30, was charged with felony strong-armed robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief, according to Miami Beach police.
According to an arrest report, McGregor and the fan were walking out of the resort, home to the legendary LIV nightclub, just past 5 a.m. When the fan tried taking a photo with his cell, McGregor “slapped” the phone out of his hand, then stomped on it several times, the report said.
McGregor picked up the phone, valued at $1,000, and walked away with it, police said.
While that’s not on the level of the bus arrest, and while it may not lead to much in the long run, it’s still not a great look for McGregor. And this feels like a whole lot of overkill to bring to the situation. First, McGregor probably should be used to having his photo taken by fans at this point, and it’s not like a photo of him outside a nightclub at 5 a.m. is all that unsurprising or damaging. But beyond that, even if he felt the need to slap the phone away, it could have stopped there; that still might have got him in some trouble for damage to someone else’s property, but on a much less severe scale, and with some public sympathy in his corner.
Stomping on the phone and then walking away with it is something else entirely, and that’s now led to an investigation and an arrest. And while that probably won’t cause huge long-term criminal consequences for McGregor, it’s yet another blow to his public image, and yet another case that makes you wonder about McGregor’s long-term viability as a UFC star. He’s far from the only UFC athlete to create controversy outside the octagon, and he still sells tickets and PPV buys at the moment, but these kinds of stories illustrate that he’s far from reliable or dependable, and that associations with him carry the risk that he’ll do something crazy. We’ll see what this eventually leads to, but it’s yet another case of behavior from McGregor that doesn’t reflect well on him or the UFC.