'I regret my actions' - Conor McGregor in plea negotiations after melee

Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor is in plea negotiations to resolve charges stemming from a backstage melee at a New York arena.

The 29-year-old fighter and co-defendant Cian Cowley remained free on bail after a brief court appearance on Thursday. They are due back in court on July 26.

Assistant district attorney Janet Gleeson said the case has not been presented to a grand jury for possible indictment because of the plea negotiations, signalling interest from all sides in resolving the matter swiftly.

The men marched into court in tight blue suits, and passed a gallery packed with reporters and other defendants waiting for their hearings. They stood and said little during the appearance.

Moments after his appearance, McGregor told the waiting media outside court: "I regret my actions that led me here today.

"I understand the seriousness of this matter and I am hopeful that it gets resolved soon."

A prosecutor said plea negotiations are continuing.

Video footage showed McGregor hurling a trolley at a bus full of fighters after a press conference for UFC 223 at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn in April.

Fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were injured by shattered glass and unable to compete.

McGregor cheered the 25-year-old Cowley on Saturday as he fought in Belfast, and they flew to the US together on a private jet for the hearing.

Cowley said after the fight that he was hoping to get the case “out of the way”.

- Digital Desk and PA

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