Sunday 11 December 2016

Conor McGregor reveals how Joao Carvalho's death affected his UFC 200 promotion plans

Published 22/05/2016 | 19:54

Conor McGregor was present at the fight which resulted in the death of Joao Carvalho
Conor McGregor was present at the fight which resulted in the death of Joao Carvalho

UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has made some very interesting revelations during an interview which was aired on ESPN today.

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The 27-year-old opened up about his 'publicised civil war' with the UFC in April when he appeared to announce his retirement via Twitter.

He told ESPN's Kenny Mayne that the extensive promotion duties where compromising his training.

“I’ll tell you what, [the retirement announcement on Twitter] blew up,” McGregor told ESPN. “I was kind of having fun to start, half-hearted. Then all of a sudden it’s, ‘you’re off 200!’ I was like, ‘alright, well fuck you too, then.’

“All said and done, there were times [I thought], ‘I should have just jumped on the damn flight [and done the publicity tour].’ But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you and not what’s right for everybody else, especially if you’ve done what’s right for everyone else a million times over.

“I’m committed to the fight game.

“I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges. If a challenge is in front of me and it appeals to me, I will go ahead and conquer it.

“Did I do all the media? Did I dance like a monkey? No. Am I still here? Am I still fighting? Am I still collecting? Yeah. So, [UFC] saved face, I saved face – there was no loser. We all won in a way. I had them realistically, but they couldn’t bow down, so there was no loser. I was over here, they were there and now we’re in the middle. We’re in a good spot.”

Apart from wanting to iron out the kinks from the defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor was also affected by the tragic death of fighter Joao Carvalho, who died at a bout that the Dubliner attended at the National Stadium.

“I had fucking journalists knocking down my mother’s door, you know what I mean?” McGregor said. “That’s not what I signed up to do – have people knocking on my mother’s door, talking about a kid dying. It’s not nice to see a kid die like that. It does something to you. And there’s been show after show canceled in Ireland since that. It’s fucked up to be a part of it, and I didn’t want to bring it back up and put it more on a public scale.

“After all that, I did not want to be put in front of a camera and made to dance. I just wasn’t feeling it.”

McGregor also dismissed rumours of a possible fight with Floyd Mayweather and his rumoured purse of $7m for the proposed fight.

“I hear [Mayweather] talking. The leak came out, it was him that leaked the rumor and it said he gets $100m and I get $7m – that’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing was where the money was at. The $7m is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100m – I’m also talking $100m,” McGregor said. “I’m 27 years of age and I’m just about halfway through a $100m contract. At 27 years of age, Floyd Mayweather was on Oscar De La Hoya’s undercard.

“Who doesn’t want to conquer both worlds? He’s getting old now. He needs me, I don’t need him. Who else can he fight?”

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