Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor is scheduled to appear Thursday in a Brooklyn courtroom, where an expected plea deal will move him closer to a return to fighting after nearly a two-year absence.
McGregor is facing multiple charges, the most serious of which are two criminal mischief felonies for leading a band of associates in the April attack of a bus carrying many UFC fighters at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, including McGregor’s likely next opponent, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The UFC would likely move swiftly to arrange a McGregor fight date, with cards scheduled in Las Vegas on Oct. 6 and Dec. 29, and at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 3.
Two fighters, flyweight Ray Borg and lightweight Michael Chiesa, were injured by flying glass when McGregor threw a hand truck at a bus window, and the plea bargain could allow them to pursue a civil lawsuit against Ireland’s McGregor if he admits to wrongdoing by pleading to a misdemeanor or a violation.
Attorney Dmitriy Shakhnevich, who practices in Brooklyn, said “the most important thing here is to preserve his immigration status and ability to travel [in and out of the U.S.], and,” pleas short of felonies, “would likely satisfy that requirement.”
A plea deal will also determine if the violation remains on McGregor’s lifetime criminal record or can be settled with duties such as paying a fine or providing community service, Shakhnevich said.