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Criminal defense: Acclaimed UFC fighter faces assault charges

Fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship are doubtless familiar with Irish fighter Conor McGregor, who was charged with one count of criminal mischief and three counts of assault following a bizarre incident during a press event on April 5 in Brooklyn. New York authorities say the acclaimed fighter has already appeared in court and was released on $50,000 bail. When he returns to court in June, he will be accompanied by his criminal defense representation.

According to the report, the UFC was holding a media event at the Barclays Center in advance of several upcoming fights when McGregor and his entourage arrived. Witnesses on the scene say the men came into the Center through a side entrance before attacking a van carrying several other fighters. Fragments of this event were recorded by fans and circulated on social media, though it was not immediately clear from the footage exactly what was happening. 

The president of the UFC issued a statement calling the alleged attack "disgusting" before stripping McGregor of his championship belt. The organization also cancelled three of its upcoming fights as a result of the disturbance. They have indicated that further internal review and consequences will be upcoming. 

In a case like this, it is sometimes difficult to divine what "really happened" amidst a chaotic event. While some of the captured video may be presented by New York prosecutors over the course of this case, such media is not always considered compelling evidence, and may not even be admitted into evidence. This is an argument McGregor's criminal defense team may choose as part of their ongoing efforts to build a case in the fighter's defense. 

Source: theguardian.com, "Conor McGregor charged with assault following UFC backstage melee in New York", April 5, 2018

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