Former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor says he was “completely in the wrong” after video emerged of him appearing to punch a man in a pub in Dublin.
Video footage of the incident released by TMZ earlier in August appears to show McGregor, 31, punch a man in the head.
TMZ reported that McGregor was attempting to promote his brand of whisky but the Irishman told ESPN: “In reality it doesn’t matter what happened there, I was in the wrong.
“That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did.
“I have to realise that is not the attitude or behaviour of a leader, of a martial artist or a champion. I must get my head screwed on and get back in the game, fight for redemption, retribution, respect – the things that made me the man I am.
“I was completely in the wrong. There’s no need to even discuss what began it, what was going on outside, inside, any of that. It was unacceptable behaviour. I must take accountability and take responsibility.
“Although I have been making steps to do better and be better, to see it (the video) is like a dagger into my heart.”
Police in Ireland have been investigating the incident and McGregor said: “Whatever comes my way, I will face it. Whatever comes my way, I deserve it. I will face this head on. I will not hide from it.”
Asked if he has an anger problem, he added: “I must be calm. I must be Zen. I must lead by example. I need to get a hold of this and I am working very hard to do this.
“I am taking the necessary steps.”
April’s incident is far from the first controversy involving McGregor, who announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in March but later hinted on social media he was ready to reverse that decision.
He was arrested and charged with robbery in March after allegedly
stamping on a mobile phone belonging to a fan in Miami.
That altercation came after McGregor had a brush with the law in the US over a violent incident at a UFC event in April, 2018.
Several people were hurt when he hurled a trolley at a bus, smashing a window, as it left the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.