Conor McGregor changes tune, offers legit apology for melee at Bellator 187

One day after posting (and quickly deleting) a non-remorseful explanation for his actions during the melee he caused at last Friday's Bellator 187 card in Dublin, Ireland, Conor McGregor has changed his tune. 

The UFC lightweight champion posted an apology to his Instagram account on Tuesday in response to the wild scene that saw McGregor leap over a cage wall, slap a Bellator official and twice shove referee Marc Goddard. 

"I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekends fight event in Dublin," McGregor wrote in part. "While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line. As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard."

McGregor, 29, had jumped the cage to celebrate his teammate Charlie Ward's TKO victory over John Redmond with one second remaining in Round 1. There was initial confusion over whether the fight was actually stopped and McGregor was heard on video screaming "that's a f—-ing stoppage" at Goddard. 

Redmond's team ultimately blamed McGregor's interference with the result being ruled a TKO, claiming the referee never had time to properly consult with the commission. The interaction between McGregor and Goddard rehashed an earlier beef from UFC Gdansk last month when McGregor was ejected from cageside in Poland.

"The referee Marc Gonard [sic] was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round," McGregor wrote. "Even against the wishes of the said fighter's coach. The fight was over. After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone."

McGregor hasn't yet been punished for his role in the incident and UFC has yet to comment publicly. On Monday, the president of Association of Boxing Commission, Mike Mazzulli, who was on hand in Dublin as the head of the Mohegan regulation board which oversaw the Bellator card, revealed he was informed by UFC that McGregor has been pulled from UFC 219 on Dec. 30 as punishment. 

Audie Attar, McGregor's agent, told MMAFighting on Monday that Mazzulli's statements were "not true." McGregor (21-3) was never officially announced by UFC as being on the card although president Dana White said earlier this month his hope was that McGregor would return at one of two upcoming Las Vegas cards (Dec. 30 and March 3, 2018).  

McGregor, who hasn't appeared in the Octagon since November 2016, closed by apologizing to Mazzulli and sharing his respect for Redmond and his team. 

"I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, [coach] Andy Ryan and his fighter John -- two stonch [sic] ones that put up a great fight every time," McGregor wrote. "That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all!

"I've always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different."

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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