UFC lightweight division fighter Michael Chiesa is reportedly suing former featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor for what is believed to be a substantial amount of money. The lawsuit claims that the bus attack that injured Chiesa earlier in the year helped McGregor earn greater profits through both his UFC 229 bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov and his whiskey brand.
According to TMZ Sports, the latest court documents filed by Chiesa claim that the bus attack, which McGregor allegedly orchestrated, was a "publicity stunt" that helped the Irishman in a number of ways, as the incident increased interest in his fight against reigning lightweight champion Nurmagomedov and drove sales of his recently launched whiskey brand, Proper No. 12. This, the documents state, entitles Chiesa to the money McGregor earned from both sources.
"By his own admission, [McGregor] engaged in the aforementioned conduct and acts with the premeditated intent and purpose of inflicting severe personal injuries and/or murdering Nurmagomedov, and sought to promote his brand and profit from his criminal activity," the documents read.
In addition, Michael Chiesa brought up Conor McGregor's press conference ahead of UFC 229, where he told reporters Khabib would have ended up "dead" had he stepped off the bus during the attack.
The lawsuit cites New York's so-called "Son of Sam" law, which, per NJ.com, was passed in 1977 to prevent convicted serial killer David Berkowitz from selling the media rights to his life story. The law had been invoked a number of times through the years in order to ensure that people don't earn profits off their crimes and that any money earned through such endeavors be turned over to their victims.As recalled by ESPN, the bus incident took place in April, as McGregor's entourage was caught hurling objects at Nurmagomedov's bus at a parking lot outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, reportedly in retaliation over an altercation Khabib had with McGregor's training partner, Artem Lobov. The objects thrown during the attack included a steel dolly — allegedly thrown by McGregor himself — that broke one of the bus' windows and injured a number of fighters, including Chiesa.
"The [dolly] nearly came at my window. Thankfully to the bus driver, he was on point. He was backing up the bus as it came to my window, and it ended up hitting Michael Chiesa in the head instead, unfortunately," recalled UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, who was on the bus when the incident happened.
Due to cuts to the face from the broken glass, Chiesa pulled out of his scheduled fight against Anthony Pettis at UFC 223 and, as he alleged, also missed out on a chance to face Nurmagomedov in the main event bout after Max Holloway backed out. He also claims to have suffered from depression in the aftermath of the incident, further alleging that his pulling out of UFC 223 "hurt his overall standing" within the promotion.
According to TMZ Sports, Conor McGregor recently commented on the issue and said Michael Chiesa should not sue him for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" because he wasn't the person whom McGregor was targeting in the bus attack.