White: $150,000 fine for McGregor is ‘crazy’
The UFC has an impeccable record with regards to regulation. For example, the league spent nine years and millions of dollars getting mixed martial arts regulated in New York, overcoming literally the stupidest anti-MMA argument of all time.
However, support for the concept of the government regulation of mixed martial arts does not mean condoning every step taken by every commission in North America. The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently fined UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor $150,000 for throwing water bottles during a UFC 202 pre-fight media event in Las Vegas.
To the vast majority of fans and professionals in the sport, the fine did not appear to be fair and unreasonable. Neither, unfortunately, was it entirely out of character for the commission.
When the NSAC tried to ban Wanderlei Silva for a life after he ran from a PED test in 2014, a judge overturned the punishment, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” When the NSAC tried to ban Nick Diaz for five years for NOT testing positive for the demon weed marijuana, he fought back legally, and the commission quietly changed the five years to 18 months, retroactively to the date of the “offense.”
Commissions are charged with a serious responsibility. They have to keep fighters as safe as possible and keep fights clean. As well, their good work ensures that the economic power of mixed martial arts is harnessed for the state. The NSAC appears to be struggling at times in carrying out their duties.
Where once the commission was widely considered to be the leader nationwide, they now appear to be leading in less fruitful regards, like arbitrary and capricious punishments.
UFC president Dana White put their $150,000 fine of McGregor on blast, during a recent interview with TMZ Sports.
“If you threw a water bottle, and you got fined $150,000, would you fight there again?” asked White. “If you threw a water bottle and they fined you $25,000, that’s a lot of money. A lot of money.”
White was asked if under McGregor’s circumstance he would fight in Nevada?
“I would not,” replied White bluntly. “That guy can fight in Iowa and sell tickets – it doesn’t matter. He can fight on an island off the coast of Peru and sell tickets. Las Vegas needs him, he doesn’t need Las Vegas.”
The stringer asked if White “had McGregor’s back” over the issue.
“Yah,” said White, adding “everybody does. I don’t think anybody disagrees with that. Throwing a water bottle and you get fined 150,000 DOLLARS. For a water bottle. That’s crazy.”
Regardless of whether you use the term “arbitrary and capricious” or you call it “crazy,” it’s crazy.