Is Conor McGregor getting off easy in Brooklyn bus attack? If so, do fans care?


The UFC won’t punish Conor McGregor, and the legal system seems content to take his money but not much else. Hypocrisy aside, are we really upset about it, if we still get the fights we want in the end? Retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss in this week’s Trading Shots.

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Downes: This week, Ben, I have 19th century transcendentalist preacher Theodore Parker on my mind. Why? Because the original champ-champ, Conor McGregor, was in a Brooklyn courtroom to hear his punishment for the handtruck toss heard ’round the world.

The final punishment was five days of community service, three days of anger management classes, and restitution paid to the victims of the attack. When MMAjunkie contacted Dana White to see if McGregor would face any additional punishment, the UFC president said, “Conor has faced a lot of repercussions. Conor has lost a lot of money and a lot of time. Conor and I are good. We’re good.”

Well that settles it. I’m sure that this is the normal punishment someone receives for vandalizing a bus and causing a couple people to go to the hospital. I’m sure someone like you would prefer more draconian measures, but wouldn’t that mean “Mystic Mac” would sit on the shelf even longer? I do not pretend to know the arc of the moral universe, but surely it bends toward justice?

Fowlkes: I don’t mind telling you that I’m torn on this one, Danny.

On one hand, pretty much no other fighter could do any of this and have the notoriously vengeful UFC president shrug his shoulders and say, “Ah, we’re cool.”

On the other hand, isn’t this the outcome we all really want, if we’re being honest? We don’t want to see McGregor in jail, and we definitely don’t want to see him on the sidelines of the UFC any more than we already have. We want to see the man fight, and soon. Now that he’ll have to shell out some of that “Diddy bread” to the fellow fighters who got caught in his crossfire, he might have even more reason to want to get back to business.

The only downside here is that we’re reminded, again, that all are not equal before the law. If a homeless man picks up a hand truck on the streets of New York and hurls it through the window of a bus full of tourists, that man’s feet won’t touch pavement again for a good long while. And if Ray Borg had shattered glass into McGregor’s eye rather than the other way around, he’d have been out of a job before the mess even got cleaned up.

McGregor is rich, and he brings a lot of money to the UFC, so he gets to play by different rules. That sucks, but it’s the reality. I doubt any of us can say we’re surprised.

What I wonder, though, is whether all of this has made any sort of impact on McGregor. Did he come close enough to throwing his prime fighting years away to learn that even the “Notorious” one needs to rein it in? Or did this whole incident just confirm for him that he can do anything he wants and still be protected by the money he has made or will make?

Downes: If you’re asking me what anger management classes, community service and a brush with the criminal justice system will teach Conor McGregor, I think we both know the answer: They’ll do nuttin’.

Whether it’s vandalizing property, jumping into a Bellator cage, or showing up chronically late for press conferences, McGregor has..

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