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Celebrity Slam - MMA at the VMAs

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One of the wonderful things about celebrity beef is that there are so many different flavors. You’ve got the long-simmering beef, where the players involved have been at it for years or even decades. You’ve got the fast-food beef, the conflicts that spring up and are almost immediately quashed – they burn hot, but briefly.

But then, you’ve got the surprise beef. It’s relatively rare, but this is the beef that pops up out of nowhere, between people that have no obvious connection to one another. Surprise beef is fun because it doesn’t always make sense. Often, crossover beef is surprise beef, when people celebrated in different spheres suddenly overlap in a Venn diagram of delightful idiocy.

This brings us to this past weekend, where Conor McGregor wound up in some kind of confrontation with Machine Gun Kelly while they were both on the red carpet for the MTV VMAs. We’re talking basically beef Mad Libs here; it’s like someone simply said two random famous names and suddenly they’re fighting.

Here’s the basic gist as we understand it thus far. It was right before showtime when McGregor approached Kelly – accompanied by girlfriend Megan Fox – on the red carpet. There was some kind of exchange, and then Kelly’s people pushed McGregor away. McGregor spilled some of his drink in the process; he then lunged at Kelly and threw his drink in his direction. There was a general kerfuffle and the usual “hold me back, hold me back” bullcrap and then everyone went about their business.

But the why remains a little hazy.

Some sources say that CMG (we’re going to go with initials for a bit because it’s fun and we don’t get the chance that often) approached MGK (See? Fun!) and asked for a photo. MGK then denied said request, which then escalated into CMG getting pushed back and spilling his drink and yada yada yada.

Other sources say that CMG denies the photo story and was just walking up to MGK to say hello, hand extended. From there, MGK apparently said something – something CMG apparently couldn’t hear – and then MGK’s security pushed CMG away. These are the folks who say that CMG is confused by the whole thing and was surprised by the manner in which he was treated.

For his part, McGregor denies the whole business about the photo and is generally claiming ignorance, saying that he doesn’t even know the guy. He also couldn’t resist dropping some of his usual d-bag shtick.

“Nothing happened with me,” McGregor said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I only fight real fighters. People that actually fight. I certainly don't fight little Vanilla Ice white rappers. I don't even know the guy, don't know anything about him except that he's with Megan Fox.”

As of press time, we’ve not yet heard from the MGK camp.

You see? Surprise beef! By all accounts, these two don’t even really know each other, and yet here they are, puffing their chests and posturing on the red carpet ahead of an increasingly meaningless awards show.

(An aside: The VMAs used to be a go-to for celebrity beef. It wasn’t so long ago that you could count on VMAs weekend to result in at least one and often several confrontations between various and sundry entertainment world figures. Just top-notch stuff. This one, weird as it is, feels like a bit of a throwback – we used to get this all the time, but now, it’s precious and rare.)

For what it’s worth, we’re ready to place the blame for the entire thing on McGregor. Seriously – he’s the kind of guy who would absolutely get his back up over some sort of perceived slight. Not knowing who he is is almost certainly a fighting offense for a guy like that, arrogant as he is. CMG is always looking for a reason to take a swing – no reason to think this situation is any different.

And I say this as someone who finds MGK’s whole deal exhausting. Everything about him comes off as canned and/or contrived, including his relationship with Megan Fox, who frankly deserves better than showing up with a tattooed weirdo only to get a drink thrown at her by a DIFFERENT tattooed weirdo.

In the end, when you bring MMA to the VMAs, we’re all winners. Except Megan Fox.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 10:26

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