Conor McGregor contrite over pub attack, talks next fight: 'I was in the wrong ... I must get my head screwed on'

For the first time since video emerged of Conor McGregor sucker punching an older man in a Dublin pub, the former UFC champion spoke publicly about the incident.

In a Thursday interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, McGregor took an uncharacteristically contrite tone about the attack while confirming that he indeed is not retired and looking forward to his next fight.

The attack appeared to be over the victim refusing a drink pour from McGregor, who regularly promotes his own brand of whiskey. The incident was captured on video.

‘I must get my head screwed on’

“In reality it doesn’t matter what happened there,” McGregor told Helwani. “I was in the wrong. That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did.”

McGregor implied that he reached some sort of agreement with the man before telling Helwani he needs to “get my head screwed on.”

“Although — five months ago it was — I tried to make amends,” McGregor continued. “And I made amends back then. Still that does not even matter. I was in the wrong. I have to realize that’s not the attitude or behavior of a leader, of a martial artist of a champion.

“I must get my head screwed on, get back in the game and fight for redemption, retribution, respect, the things that made me the man I am. That’s what I will do.”

Police in Ireland are reportedly still investigating the incident.

What’s next for Conor?

McGregor, who hasn’t fought since losing a lightweight title bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov last August, has since tweeted that he is retired from mixed martial arts.

He dispelled that notion on Thursday, telling Helwani that he made the pronouncement still feeling the heat and chaos of the emotional loss to Nurmagomedov.

“Sometimes you just need to take a backstep,” Conor said. “Retirement — I don’t think I’d ever retire from this game, Ariel. Never in my life. I will be fighting until the day I go out.”

What that next step in the fight game is remains unclear. He said that he’d like another shot at the title.

16 PHOTOS
Moments from Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC match against Conor McGregor
See Gallery
Moments from Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC match against Conor McGregor
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia faces Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after submitting Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland walks out prior to facing Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia looks across the Octagon at his opponent Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia speaks to referee Herb Dean as he controls the body Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia controls the body of Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia controls the body of Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

A title shot implies he’s eying the winner of the Sept. 7 lightweight title bout between Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.

If not a title fight, then who?

But if a title shot’s not immediately available, he sounds ready to get back in the Octagon for whatever fight is available.

“I want my world title back,” McGregor said. “I want that redemption. The camp was incorrect. Knowing the commitment I had in that camp and knowing the performance I put on.

“I’m not gonna wait around. Whoever. If you’re asking me who, whoever.”

Outside of taking on the Khabib-Poirier winner, “whoever” could include Tony Ferguson, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone or completing a trilogy with nemesis Nate Diaz.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.