UFC star Conor McGregor wound up in an altercation with rapper Machine Gun Kelly while the two were on the red carpet for Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) show. In a video that has been viewed several million times on social media, McGregor can be seen lunging forward at Kelly before throwing a drink in his direction. The two-time world champion was immediately held back by security.
Reports of why the incident happened have been mixed. TMZ initially reported that McGregor tried to get a photo with Kelly and was rebuffed, then followed up by saying McGregor walked up to the artist, tried to shake his hand, but was pushed away by security as Kelly said something McGregor couldn't hear. McGregor's spokesperson Karen Kessler then released a statement.
not MGK getting into a fight at the VMAs red carpet pic.twitter.com/KWQeRAbc6Y— mari ᗢ (@olsenspears) September 13, 2021
"Conor McGregor did not ask anyone for a picture, nor did he instigate this incident," Kessler wrote. "He does not know Machine Gun Kelly, outside of the fact that he attended Conor's fight this past July."
McGregor then spoke with Entertainment Tonight and was asked about the altercation. He said, "I don't know. He showed up, and I don't know. I don't know the guy. Nothing happened with me, I only fight real fighters, people that actually fight, you know what I mean," he continued. "I certainly don't fight little vanilla boy rappers. I don't even know the guy. I don't know anything about him, except that he's with Megan Fox."
Meanwhile, Kelly would go on to perform during the awards show and won the award for Best Alternative music video for "My Ex's Best Friend."
McGregor has lost three of his last four fights and was on the losing end of back-to-back fights with Dustin Poirier earlier this year. He wound up in the headlines earlier this month when John Cena openly endorsed him joining WWE.
"It's entertainment. You have to buy into that reality. If you don't believe you're piece of that world we're in or your opponent is a piece of that world, it doesn't work," Cena said while speaking with Dan Patrick. "I don't watch much MMA or anything. To me, it's true fight sport, but then a guy like (Conor) McGregor comes along with a wonderful personality and will talk people into the building. You either root for him or root against him and you buy his fight, like (Floyd) Mayweather or (Muhammad) Ali, they talk about developing that great personality and believing in it. The way to make people buy into you as a WWE personality is to drop the make believe of it and make it a reality and believe in what you do.
"He'd be fantastic. He is what we do," he later added. "It's a little less predictable. Our surprises are getting people to show up at random and weave the 'choose your own adventure' into a different alley. His surprises are getting a few teeth knocked out or getting an operation. Not to say that this doesn't happen with us, mistakes happen, but in his profession it's not a mistake. I hope (he makes an appearance) because I want to see it. At my core, I'm a fan. He's interesting and have a gravity about him. I want to see him perform."