WATCH: UFC's Conor McGregor shoves ref during wild melee in Bellator MMA cage

While Conor McGregor's return to the Octagon remains unknown amid a one-year layoff, the UFC's lightweight champion continues to make headlines around the cage. 

Three weeks after referee Marc Goddard objected an obnoxious McGregor from his cageside perch in Gdansk, Poland, while cheering on teammate Artem Lobov at a UFC Fight Night card, "The Notorious" attempted a return confrontation. 

In attendance at Bellator 187 on Friday in his native Dublin, McGregor stormed the cage to wildly celebrate teammate Charle Ward's first-round TKO in the opening bout. But after McGregor jumped into Ward's arms and knocked him over, Goddard, who officiated the match, attempted to eject McGregor, an unlicensed cornermen, from the cage.

That's when all heck broke loose.

McGregor, 28, twice pushed Goddard and needed to be restrained multiple times while attempting to chase after him. Ward's opponent, middleweight John Redmond, was knocked over during the melee. 

After being removed by security, McGregor attempted to enter the cage a second time -- while yelling "that was a f------ stoppage" -- and was again forced out. 

One can expect McGregor (21-3) to face serious discipline for putting his hands on an official, which could jeopardize his return date, which UFC had hoped would be Dec. 30 for the promotion's New Year's Eve weekend card in Las Vegas.

Not only was McGregor out of line in breaking cageside protocol for the second straight time, he certainly crossed the line by getting physical. Even more, he brought attention to Bellator MMA, UFC's chief rival. The card, which took place at 3Arena and was headlined by featherweights AJ McKee and Brian Moore, will air Friday evening on tape delay in the U.S. 

McGregor was knocked out by Floyd Mayweather during his pro boxing debut in August. The fight, which reportedly moved between four and five million pay-per-view buys, saw McGregor pocket a $30 million guaranteed purse and may have tripled that number after receipts were counted. 

A champion at two weight divisions, McGregor has yet to defend his title at either one, while growing to become the biggest star in the sport in the process -- helped by a wild feud with Nate Diaz at welterweight in 2016. 

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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