Conor McGregor says he's sorry for shoving Bellator ref

— -- Conor McGregor issued a public apology via social media on Tuesday for his questionable actions during a Bellator MMA event this past weekend in Dublin.

McGregor, the UFC's lightweight champion, created a scene at Bellator 187 when he leapt over the cage after his teammate Charlie Ward's knockout win.

In a written statement, McGregor apologized to Bellator and commission officials, the fighter who lost and his fans.

He did not directly apologize to referee Marc Goddard, whom he shoved as officials attempted to remove him from the cage.

"I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekend's fight event in Dublin," McGregor posted to Instagram. "While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line. As a multiple weight champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard.

"The referee Marc Goddard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighter's coach. The fight was over.

"After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and overreacted. I am sorry to everyone."

McGregor's last statement is in reference to a tragedy last year when Brazilian welterweight Joao Carvalho died after a TKO loss to Ward.

McGregor's apology comes one day after he posted, then deleted, a much different statement. In his initial post, which was quickly removed, McGregor seemed to defend his actions.

"Bloke KO'd on floor bout a minute straight and ref trying to say fight not over Conor. That's when I lost it," McGregor wrote. "F--- yous all."

The U.S.-based Mohegan Tribe Department of Regulation oversaw the event and released a statement categorizing McGregor's actions as an "assault" on Goddard. The MTDR has not, however, formally punished McGregor.

MTDR official Mike Mazzulli has said the UFC pulled McGregor from a planned bout at UFC 219 on Dec. 30, but the UFC has never announced McGregor would fight on that date. The UFC has not yet commented on the situation.

McGregor (21-3) has not fought in mixed martial arts in 2017. His last appearance in the UFC was in November 2016, when he became a multidivisional champion by knocking out Eddie Alvarez.