Conor McGregor could be dealing with his most dangerous opponent yet: Irish mobsters.
There’s been some tabloid chatter in recent days that a well-known Irish celebrity was involved in a fight at a pub in Ireland in which he punched a man with ties to Kinahan lieutenant Graham “The Wig” Whelan, a convicted drug dealer and one of the country’s most feared gangsters.
There’s been no confirmation, and McGregor’s name isn’t mentioned specifically in the tabloids — likely to avoid potential libel lawsuits if the reports wind up being inaccurate — but it’s fairly obvious who’s being discussed in the reports. Irish crime reporter Paul Williams added fuel to the rumors Tuesday while talking about the alleged situation on his radio show, “Newstalk Breakfast.”
Here’s what Williams said, per Balls.ie:
“I have to say about this, and I’m wearing my old, veteran crime reporter hat. Conor McGregor is in a very dangerous place at the moment. He has come into conflict through probably no fault of his own, with a group of very, very dangerous people who are tied up with the Kinahans. These people do not care who Conor McGregor is, what he stands for, how powerful he is, they will drag him down into the cesspit.
“I would say, in the next 48 hours, if he still is in the country — and I understand that he may have left the country — but if he is still in the country, I understand from my sources that the Garda will be approaching him to give him a GIM form, which is a Garda Information Message, to tell him that there may be threats to his safety. This is a huge story, and imagine what it would do to our reputation if this national sporting icon is attacked by a bunch of gangsters.”
It’s important to take everything with a grain of salt because, again, details regarding the alleged incident are rather vague. But one rumor suggests the man attacked, who’s believed to be in his 50s, is Whelan’s father, which obviously would be bad news for McGregor if true.
Here’s more from Williams, per Balls.ie:
“I just want to make a comment about this. Conor McGregor is potentially in very, very serious danger, I hear that from my sources and from looking at the lay of the land. He has ended up crossing swords — accidentally or however — with some very, very heavy people, or some people who are related to some very, very heavy people who could pose a very serious threat to his safety, and potentially his life. And I don’t say that lightly.
“And these people, you have to remember — as I keep saying — they don’t care, they don’t have parameters, they don’t have boundaries, they don’t discriminate between whether you’re an international sporting icon or just a man on the street. They shoot you, they injure you, they do whatever they want to do.
“I think it’s extraordinary. And I think in the next 24-48 hours, I believe that An Garda Síochána will be approaching Conor McGregor and saying to him, ‘By the way, we just want to officially inform you that potentially your safety is at risk.’
“I think it’s an extraordinary state of affairs. And watch this space.”
For what it’s worth, McGregor posted this weird video to Instagram amid the reports:
UFC president Dana White said during a press event Tuesday in Las Vegas that he doesn’t believe the reports involving the lightweight champion are true.
White also isn’t sure whether McGregor ever will fight in UFC again.
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