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A.J. Perez


USA TODAY

Published 9:37 p.m. UTC Jul 25, 2018

Conor McGregor’s court appearance in Brooklyn on Thursday over his battle with a bus earlier this year will likely clear the way for the former UFC champ to punish human opponents again in the Octagon.

McGregor is expected to accept a plea deal offered by prosecutors that will spare him jail time and lead to the dismissal of the two felony charges related to his tossing multiple items at a bus full of UFC fighters at Barclays Center in April. USA TODAY Sports previously reported that McGregor’s legal team and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office were working on a deal that wasn’t finalized before his court appearance last month.

McGregor, 29, has allowed his lawyers to do almost all the talking during his two previous court appearances, but he would be required to allocute — stating on the record he was responsible for the incident — as part of the plea deal.

UFC president Dana White said earlier this month that he didn’t want to discuss McGregor’s future until his case “was over with.”

“Then we’ll start talking about him fighting,” White said.

More: McGregor calls Putin ‘one of the greatest leaders of our time’ at World Cup

Current undefeated UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov said on Instagram that he’s been “working on fight” where he’d face McGregor. There’s been talk that such a bout could take place by year’s end.

The plea deal is expected to include a fine, and potentially anger management counseling, community service and probation. Prosecutors would agree to drop the felony charges in lieu of successfully completing probation and/or completing a conditional plea agreement successfully. 

A spokesperson for McGregor’s attorney, Bruce Maffeo, told USA TODAY Sports there was “no update” when asked if a deal had been reached.

“As noted in court, we have ongoing discussions with the District Attorney’s office and hope to be able to resolve this matter to both sides satisfaction by the next court date,” Maffeo said after McGregor’s hearing on June 14.

Michael Chiesa (facial injuries) and Ray Borg (eye injury) were forced off the UFC 223 card after they sustained injures while sitting on the bus on April 5 as McGregor and Cian Cowley tossed objects at the vehicle.

McGregor, who has been free on bail since he was arrested hours after the incident, would leave himself open to potential lawsuits brought by injured fighters and the bus company if he takes a plea.

“Once he goes on the record and allocutes where he’ll say he did X, Y and Z, anyone looking to sue him can take those minutes from the hearing and use them as part of a civil lawsuit,” Taylor Koss, a former Brooklyn prosecutor, told USA TODAY Sports. “Those minutes would be strong evidence of civil liability.”

According to online court records, no lawsuits have been filed over the bus incident.

As part of the plea deal, McGregor also would be required to pay restitution to the bus company and anyone else who suffered monetary damages, Koss said.

Cowley, also an MMA fighter from Ireland, also is scheduled to be in court for a status hearing on Thursday. Cowley faces similar charges.

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