In the immediate aftermath of the van attack, UFC president Dana White labeled the incident “disgusting.” But the UFC failed to punish McGregor for his actions, meaning any discipline for the incident will come from the justice system.
And that also means a potential holdup for McGregor’s return to the cage. The former champ is plainly getting a lot of leeway because he means more to the company’s coffers than any other fighter. A bout between McGregor and Nurmagomedov would likely shatter UFC pay-per-view records, between McGregor’s return to the Octagon after what’s currently a year and a half away, as well as the built-in grudge angle.
Which brings us back to why this is the biggest thing on June’s docket. The UFC needs a blockbuster fight, and it’s going to have to hedge its bets with McGregor until his case is cleared. In a worst-case scenario, a grandstanding judge could throw the book at McGregor. In the best-case, McGregor is cleared of charges. The June 14 hearing, while it might not be the final step, should go a ways toward providing clarity for the near-term status of the UFC’s biggest star.
Top MMA storylines for June 2018
Professional Fighters League debut
A sort-of-new promotion kicks into full gear on June 7, as the Professional Fighters League kicks off its season at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. The PFL, the rebranding of the former World Series of Fighting, will attempt to hold a full regular season with 12 fighters apiece in six weight classes, followed by a postseason and a championship. The PFL is promising $1 million to each winner, a number which has raised some eyebrows for a company without a track record of drawing big crowds. Either way, the festivities begin with the June 7 card, which will be televised on NBCSN, and headlined by one of the company’s blue chip prospects in undefeated featherweight Andre Harrison of Long Island, who puts his 17-0 record on the line against China’s Jumabieke Tuerxun (20-6-1).
Men’s fight of the month: Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero at UFC 225