Conor McGregor "vehemently denies any allegation of sexual misconduct or any wrongdoing," his manager told ESPN on Monday, responding to two New York Times reports that said McGregor was accused of sexual assault in Dublin, Ireland, last month and separately in March.
"He's a global icon, but he's also a polarizing figure," Attie Attar, founder of Paradigm Sports Management, said on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show. "So he's the subject of a lot of rumors that take place. And our position has always been that we just don't comment on rumors. But even most recently, in terms of certain allegations, we vehemently deny it and he does as well."
In March, the New York Times reported that McGregor was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in December at a hotel in South Dublin. He was arrested and released after questioning in January, according to the report, and the case was given to Ireland's prosecutor's office earlier this year.
Last month, the Times reported that a woman had accused McGregor of sexually assaulting her in a vehicle outside a Dublin pub. The newspaper reported that McGregor had not spoken with police or been charged over this allegation.
Irish media have reported on both sexual assault cases but have not named McGregor due to laws regarding the media in the country.
Attar chalked up the reports to what he called a "tabloid-driven" media in Ireland.
"It's obsessive," he said. "It's also sickening. And there's a lot of things we'll also be doing in the coming weeks just to debunk a lot of the BS that's been written and said about him over there."
The manager also addressed McGregor's fighting future, saying "a deal is imminent" for him to return to the Octagon in January. The former two-division champion has fought in the UFC just once since 2016, a submission loss to lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018. McGregor announced during a news conference in Russia last week that he plans to return Jan. 18, and Attar said the fighter's management team and the UFC have "agreed on that date and we've agreed on an opponent."
Although no opponent has been named publicly, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone posted on social media a photo of a bottle of Budweiser, one of his sponsors, alongside a bottle of Proper Twelve whiskey, a brand started by McGregor, with the caption, "Need I say more??"
Attar would not confirm that Cerrone is the opponent but did say he'd like to see that fight.
"He's a fan favorite. He comes to fight," Attar said of Cerrone. "He comes to throw down. He's a guy that deserves a fight like that. So, as a fan, that's how I feel about it. From a business standpoint, let's wait and see how this plays out."