UFC star Conor McGregor avoids jail with guilty plea

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The fighter had been facing a seven-year jail sentence

UFC fighter Conor McGregor has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a deal with prosecutors to avoid jail time.

McGregor had faced multiple criminal charges stemming from an altercation in April with other fighters.

As part of his deal he is required to undergo anger management treatment. The plea will not affect his US work visa.

In a statement outside the New York City courthouse, the 30-year-old thanked the judge and prosecutors "for allowing me to move forward".

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He will also be required to fulfil five days of community service and, in exchange, will be cleared of criminal charges.

McGregor had been facing 12 criminal charges related to the incident at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on 5 April.

Media caption,
Watch footage appearing to show McGregor attacking a bus in New York

The charges against McGregor had included menacing, assault resulting in injury, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

The most serious charges carried a maximum sentence of seven years.

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In a two-sentence statement outside the courthouse, he said: "I just want to say I'm thankful to the DA [District Attorney] and the judge for allowing me to move forward."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
McGregor and Vladimir Putin were photographed together at the World Cup final

"I want to say to my friends, my family, my fans: thank you for the support."

His fans had gathered outside the court, with several holding signs expressing their support for the "champ".

In April McGregor was filmed throwing a metal dolly into a window of a bus parked at a Barclay's Center loading bay.

As a condition of the deal with the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, he was required to pay full restitution to the bus company, which he has already fulfilled.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Irish fighter Cian Cowley was also arrested in April

The coach bus had been carrying a group of UFC athletes and employees at the time.

Two UFC fighters were injured and forced to withdraw from their scheduled matches.

One of McGregor's teammates from SBG Ireland - MMA fighter Cian Cowley - was also arrested for his involvement in the incident.

On Thursday, he too pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

McGregor's manager, Audie Attar, gave a statement outside the court, saying the Irish fighter would be "getting back to business".

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"Now that this is passed us, we can focus on things that have been on hold for some time," said Mr Attar.

"Conor's been training. He's in shape. He's ready to go. Now it's just about getting back to business and we hope to have some news to announce very soon."

Last month, the father-of-one had expressed his "regret" for the attack.

In August 2017, McGregor launched a boxing career with a fight against ex-welterweight Floyd Mayweather.

The fight, which earned him $100m (£76m), was considered the richest boxing bout of all time.

According to sports journalists, the legal settlement could clear the way for his return to the Octagon later this year.

His manager, Mr Attar, said in an interview after the plea deal that the current champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, will be McGregor's "likely opponent" in a coming fight.

Nurmagomedov was on the bus that McGregor attacked, and was the target of his hostility.

That match, which his manager said could come as soon as October, could become one of the biggest fights in UFC history.