Conor McGregor Fined for Throwing Water Bottle During UFC 202 Press Conference

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20:  Conor McGregor of Ireland stands in his corner before facing Nate Diaz in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Conor McGregor was fined and sentenced to 50 hours of community service for throwing a water bottle during a press conference for UFC 202 in August, according to MMAFighting.com on Oct. 10.

MMAFighting.com originally reported on Oct. 10 that McGregor was fined $150,000. However, MMAFighting.com's Marc Raimondi noted on Sunday that Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) executive director Bob Bennett told him on Saturday that McGregor will only be fined $75,000.

The $150,000 number, Bennett said, is representative of the $75,000 fine plus what Bennett and commission chairman Anthony Marnell determined to be the value of a public-service announcement McGregor must do for the commission. McGregor was also given 50 hours of community service by the NAC on Monday at his disciplinary hearing.

Bennett said the public-service announcement was something McGregor and his attorney agreed to do. He only owes the commission $75,000 in fines, a sum that does not go to the commission directly, but to the state general fund, Bennett said.

"It appears the media and others got it wrong," Bennett said.

Sports Illustrated's Mike Dyce shared a replay of the incident, which begins at the 1:18 mark of the video below (warning: video contains NSFW language):

Shaheen Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting tweeted the Nevada State Athletic Commission handed down a stiffer punishment than what the state's attorney general pushed for, while MMAjunkie's Ben Fowlkes and Bloody Elbow's Iain Kidd were also critical of the decision:

McGregor himself was critical of the fine, posting on Twitter about his punishment:

Speaking on UFC Tonight in August, McGregor made light of his press conference incident.

"Look, I don't know. I saw people panicking up in the stands, and I thought maybe it's a case of dehydration," he said, according to Bloody Elbow's Anton Tabuena. "I don't know what was going on, I was simply launching up some hydration for people. We're around the desert here, it's intense."

On Fox Sports Live, McGregor later said he was defending himself:

The fine is a relative drop in the bucket financially for McGregor. According to Al-Shatti, the Irishman earned a $3 million purse at UFC 202, the most ever for a fighter. That's on top of the $1 million he made from his first fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March, per Sherdog.

Still, fining a fighter 5 percent of his fight purse for throwing a water bottle sets a steep precedent for the future. As ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto tweeted, McGregor is a special case, and most fighters don't have the financial security he does.

The commission has yet to rule on Diaz's involvement in the incident after he was able to delay his hearing.

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