There was all-out chaos at Dublin’s 3Arena on Friday night, as UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor vaulted the cage to celebrate with SBG teammate Charlie Ward only to get into a shouting and shoving match with referee Marc Goddard that could have easily become more physical than it did.
Ward, who was making his Bellator MMA debut after an 0-2 run with the UFC, took on Dublin veteran John Redmond in the second fight of Bellator 187. The first round started out messy, with a lot of clinch-work and dirty boxing, before catching fire in the closing seconds.
Redmond landed a big knee on Ward up against the cage, but he found himself on the deck seconds later courtesy of a left hook. The SBG fighter pounced and landed several hard shots before Goddard intervened. Ward wheeled away in celebration but Goddard went after him, which suggested that the round, not the fight had ended. McGregor, however, was already in the cage, hugging Ward.
Goddard subsequently had a word with McGregor and seemed to put his hands on the Pay-per-view star, who pursued the official thereafter and retaliated with a push. This resulted in a full-on fracas, with members of security pulling McGregor away.
You can watch the scuffle below…
— Michael 'The ting goes skrrrahh, pap, pap' Morgan (@mikewhoatv) November 10, 2017
— Joe Hodge (@HodgeSAFC) November 10, 2017
In the end, Ward was somewhat confusingly declared a TKO victor.
This isn’t the first time that McGregor’s involvement in a teammate’s fight has vexed Goddard. At UFC Gdansk several weeks ago, the Englishman stopped SBG featherweight Artem Lobov’s fight with Andre Fili to tell McGregor, who was pacing around and shouting instruction from cageside, to pipe down.