According to UFC president Dana White, and also mentioned on Wikipedia “Conor McGregor and a group of about twenty others were let into the Barclays Center by credentialed members of his promotional team.”
However, upon close examination of the video captured by fans, clearly shows a female UFC employee leading Conor and his posse down a service elevator. You can clearly see, she makes sure all Conor’s entourage gets on the elevator as she keeps the fans at bay. And at the last moment, she boards the elevator herself. Same lady in Barclays center video:
The employee is Victoria Coghlan and she is the Communications Director at UFC. Clearly not part of the Maclife team. The official explanation, that credentialed Maclife staff led Conor and his friends in the Barclay’s center is disproved by this evidence. Dana and Co. knew that a Conor and Khabib confrontation would sell millions of PPV but after examining the video of the incident it seems the UFC did not anticipate that Conor would attack the bus. Frames of the attack shows a male UFC employee trying to stop Conor from throwing the Dolly through the window:
The employee in question:
His name is Steve Reed and he is the Senior Director of International Event Security at UFC. Steve is the fucking man, he clearly took matters in his own hands and stopped Conor from creating more havoc. Did the UFC anticipate that Conor would become violent from the video evidence, No. UFC most likely allowed the team in but did not orchestrate the attack. Khabib did an Russian TV interview a few days ago here and said this:
“I had a camp consisting of 20 people with me (for the Iaquinta fight). We have rented our own bus go get to practice and back. You know what’s interesting? UFC told me that day that I must ride alone for the media day. So I didn’t go with my team, I went with all the fighters from the “red corner”. I had with me two people, one of my guys and my manager. (22:28 Khabib points to the footage) Look at this carefully, the bus is going out and all of a sudden it stops and backs up. Why? We were almost out. Now you see that the crowd is running at us. What is the bus driver doing? He is suppose to just get out of here, but he stops and goes back.
I have many questions about that whole situation. I don’t know if UFC planned this or not. So they started attacking the bus from all sides, there were about 20 of them. And there were about 10 guards from UFC and most of them are going after Conor. I’m about 70% certain that it was all planned by the UFC. I wanted to get out, this is confirmed by all the fighters that were on the bus. This whole incident lasted about 1,5 – 2 minutes. This incident leaves me with a lot of questions.”
In the end, if the bus incident didn’t happen would have the UFC sold 2.4 million PPV at UFC 229? Probably not. Will the out of cage antics of Khabib sell over 2.4 million PPV in the rematch? Certainly yes! Dana & Co. knows that confrontation and drama sells PPV, the media knows, the fighters know and in our hearts we all know it too. Hopefully, the UFC learns a few things from this fiasco. Protect your employees, fighters and fans. Don’t let irreversible body damage happen to someone for PPV points. The UFC should have harshly punished Conor for this incident. If they had, Khabib would have been deterred to start a brawl at UFC 229. If you dont punish bad behavior, you simply encourage it. But what am I saying? Money makes the world go around, not ethics, code or honor.