Cian Cowley was arrested alongside Conor McGregor for his part in last year’s infamous attack on a bus carrying several UFC fighters including Khabib Nurmagomedov and says that he would do it again under the same circumstances.
Cowley, who is currently 2-2 as a professional mixed martial artist, has been a longtime member of the SBG Ireland gym which houses a slew of top-level fighters including McGregor, Artem Lobov, Gunnar Nelson and others.
And, speaking about the actions which led to his arrest, Cowley said his and McGregor’s intervention was inevitable after Nurmagomedov and several of his teammates approached Lobov and insulted him in a run-in at a hotel corridor days before both men had UFC fights scheduled.
Upon seeing footage of the incident, McGregor, Cowley and several others boarded a flight from Ireland to extract a measure of revenge from the undefeated Russian, which led to the incident in the Barclays Center car park as the UFC ferried a host of fighters back to their hotel.
Both McGregor and Cowley shattered separate windows on the bus, which caused some fighters inside to be injured. Both fighters were subsequently arrested with Cowley pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, forcing him to undertake anger management classes as well as three days of community service but, as Cowley admitted to Irish publication Dublin Live, he would do it all over again if he had to.
“That whole thing, if that had have been two minutes down the road we would have done the same thing, one of our friends was after being attacked by a mob of people,” Cowley said.
“There was a group of people that attacked him [Artem Lobov] on his own in the hotel corridor, people forget that it wasn’t just out of nowhere, there was a reason for all that. We were just standing up for our mate, the way anyone, not just Irish people but anyone in general, would, especially somebody who’s a teammate, that you bleed with on the mat.
“Every day we train with him, you’re grinding together and then you see something like that going on, there was no second thought, it was just instinct. You protect one of your own, you go over there and stand side by side with your own, that was just a case of sticking with him.
“That just happened to be in a different country and then it blew up like that, but it could have been around the corner and it would have been no different.”
Cowley, who is a renowned Muay Thai fighter in his home country, will fight in his fifth mixed martial arts bout in a private, invite-only event in the co-main event of Brave 24 on July 25th at London’s Copper Box Arena.
He says that while he isn’t exactly happy with his actions in Brooklyn around 18 months ago, it has had an unintended knock-on effect to his career.
“I’m not proud of the New York incident, far from it, but that did blow my profile up a little bit.”