Conor McGregor got his Irish up this week after comments made by Floyd Mayweather and fighting words have been spat.
Boxing and MMA are two sports that can, and often do, go full-contact in a verbal sense. Bombastic behavior and remarks have often won boxing champ Floyd Mayweather fame and infamy, and has been widely criticized for it. But how different is Mayweather’s behavior from other athletes? Last week, Fight Hype reported in an interview with Mayweather the following statement about MMA contender, Conor McGregor.
“They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant. So biased! Like I said before, all I’m saying is this, I ain’t racist at all, but I’m telling you racism still exists.”
The controversial statement about McGregor has garnered even further criticism toward Mayweather, and even a challenge from Conor McGregor himself to a match.
Conor McGregor, an extremely active social media user, responded to variety of items in an Instagram post. In the fourth item, he hands it to Mayweather.
1. Rolling Stone, thank you for putting me as one of your top 25 sex symbols of 2015! My Mother will be delighted and proud! 2. ESPN, FOX, BT Sports, MMA Fighting, Yahoo, MMA Junkie and Sherdog thank you all for awarding me fighter of the year 2015! I appreciate all the hardworking media and their love and commitment to the sport is truly valued. 3. Fighters Only MMA Awards, thank you for the nominations for Fighter of the Year, KO of the Year, International Fighter of the year. I will be in Las Vegas to attend the event and collect all my awards. 4. Floyd Mayweather, don't ever bring race into my success again. I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood. In my family's long history of warfare there was a time where just having the name 'McGregor' was punishable by death. Do not ever put me in a bracket like this again. If you want we can organise a fight no problem. I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favour seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue. At 27 years of age I now hold the key to this game. The game answers to me now. 5. Media instigators/An Garda Siochana. I apologise for having the air-soft in public. I was simply rehearsing for a potential upcoming film role. I understand that the more traffic a story can get the more revenue it generates. So I understand and respect that the media must create these stories and these situations even if at times it is at other people's expense. We've all got to eat. And I eat well. So I will not complain. 6. My next fight. What can I say, it's just another night of easy work for me. I don't just own the game. I run it too.
Some people are more than aware of the long history of the Irish under English rule, and the bigotry they faced coming to the United States as immigrants, a point of pride and perseverance for many like McGregor. This background of oppression is still a major cultural feature for the Irish and those of Irish descent, and in Conor McGregor’s eyes, his success has little to do with his race giving him a leg up.
“Floyd Mayweather, don’t ever bring race into my success again. I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood.
“In my family’s long history of warfare there was a time where just having the name ‘McGregor’ was punishable by death. Do not ever put me in a bracket like this again.”
However, McGregor has not been as free from scorn as Mayweather claims. The media has been attacking Conor for a photo depicting him with a heavy weapon. This, McGregor claims, is nothing but an airsoft replica that he was using to rehearse for a role in film. Nonetheless, Conor McGregor (perhaps avoiding being put in the same bucket as Mayweather for his antics) apologized to the media responsible for sensationalizing the image, saying that they were just doing their job.
“We’ve all got to eat. And I eat well. So I will not complain.”
Conor McGregor was not the only fighter criticized in the damning interview. Ronda Rousey’s credibility was also called into question by her looks.
“But you look at things like this, Ronda Rousey, you know, I think she fought somewhere like 11 or 12 fights, which is not a bad thing. Laila Ali went undefeated and was dominating too. After Ronda Rousey fought I think 9, 10, 11 fights, it didn’t even take that long, she got all types of endorsements, movies, and everything. Laila Ali did the same thing in better fashion. Ronda Rousey, she’s a good looking woman when she put it on. Laila Ali is a drop-dead gorgeous woman; I mean a naturally beautiful woman and can kick ass, but you never heard them [the media] saying when she had I think somewhere around 10, 11, 12 fights that she was the baddest woman to ever fight on the planet.”
Conor McGregor has recently ended a fight with Jose Aldo as of December 12, according to ESPN, and may be feeling a little cocky as a result of his 13-second knockout win.
As for Conor McGregor’s challenge, Mayweather has yet to respond.
“If you want we can organize a fight no problem. I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favor seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue.”
How could he say no?
[Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images]