The MTV VMAs are known for publicity-grabbing stunts and culture-shaking viral moments but rarely do those moments take place on the red carpet before the show even gets started. This year, the red carpet was apparently the site of an altercation between MMA fighter Conor McGregor and rapper-turned-indie-rocker Machine Gun Kelly. TMZ reports that the fighter and singer got into some type of verbal argument — which some sources say started when MGK declined to take a photo with McGregor, pushing him away and spilling his drink — and escalated with McGregor lunging toward Kelly, throwing a punch that failed to connect, and being led away by security.
— Shannon Sharpe Burner Account (@shannonsharpeee) September 13, 2021
— Buzzing Pop (@BuzzingPop) September 13, 2021
After the men were separated, they were apparently able to compose themselves admirably, as both were seen during the broadcast appearing relatively unruffled. McGregor even presented the Best Hip-Hop Moon Man to Travis Scott, while MGK prepared to perform backstage.
However, despite the dramatic goings-on outside, the actual show kept the dramatics to the performances, which included Justin Bieber and The Kid Laroi’s medley of “Stay” and “Ghost,” Kacey Musgraves‘ performance of “Star Crossed,” Lil Nas X bringing his “Industry Baby” video to life, Doja Cat defying gravity for “Been Like This” and “You Right,” Camila Cabello dancing her way through “Don’t Get Yet,” and Chloe Bailey throwing her assets and making the audience say “Have Mercy.”
You can follow along with the VMA winners here.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.