What does the UFC do with Conor McGregor?

Nurmagomedov wants to 'humble' McGregor (2:35)

After winning the UFC lightweight title, Khabib Nurmagomedov gives Brett Okamoto his account of Conor McGregor's actions on Thursday, trash-talks McGregor and explains why he wants a fight with Georges St-Pierre. (2:35)

Dana White won't say it, but he literally could not have written a better script than this.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, an undefeated lightweight from Russia, confronts one of Conor McGregor's teammates at a Brooklyn hotel last week.

Two days later, an incensed McGregor turns up at Barclays Center with a crew of Irish men and attacks a bus that is transporting Nurmagomedov out of the arena. It results in a felony charge, which comes with the dramatic scenery of a New York court appearance.

And now, Nurmagomedov (26-0) is the UFC's undisputed lightweight champ, after thoroughly dominating Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 on Saturday. His title reign began at the exact moment McGregor's ended, as the UFC had to strip McGregor of his belt to crown Nurmagomedov.

A fight between them would be a global event after what happened last week -- which explains why many thought the UFC must have staged the whole thing.

For the record, it's safe to put that conspiracy to bed. If any part of this attack was "staged," it was by McGregor. The UFC was caught off guard -- and White's initial reaction of outrage was genuine.

Still, how the UFC handles it from here will be interesting. Maybe this is, as White called it, "the most disgusting thing that has ever happened" in the UFC, but that doesn't change that it's also a seed in the ground for a potential money tree.

No one stands to profit more from the marketing of McGregor's stunt than the UFC, but the promotion is also under the most pressure to levy a real punishment.

Of course, the state of New York will have its say -- but McGregor has no prior record, and the majority opinion of legal experts is he will avoid a felony conviction and jail time. If that's the case, it's also unlikely this would affect his ability to obtain a license from state athletic commissions.

That would leave the UFC to bring the hammer down, which doesn't seem likely, either. It's certainly not going to cut McGregor over this, and there's not much of a history of the promotion suspending its own talent. As deplorable as McGregor's actions were, it's still possible he could fight this year.

What the UFC might want to consider, however, is that condoning McGregor's actions might be the same as encouraging them at this point.

It's been McGregor's nature to push a line until it pushes back. In recent years, that hasn't happened. He has recklessly thrown full cans of energy drink into a crowd of bystanders and physically struck an official at a European MMA show.

Last week, he threw a dolly through the window of a bus full of people -- and it might result in a powerful marketing tool to sell his next fight.

How will McGregor raise that bar the next time?