Former UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor will be making his long-awaited return to the UFC in January when he takes on Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257. However, while the McGregor/Poirier rivalry has remained largely professional, someone else has now called out The Notorious One in a much more disrespectful way.
The call-out saw Paul hurl insults at not only McGregor – referred to as an “Irish c***” – but at his girlfriend Dee Devlin, too. It’s one of the more personal callouts that’s been thrown at McGregor over the years – and only time will tell if the Irishman bites and agrees to face Paul in the boxing ring.
However, while Paul’s callout was definitely vulgar, it isn’t the first disrespectful one to take place in the world of MMA and the UFC.
With that in mind, here are five of the most disrespectful callouts in UFC history.
#1 Nate Diaz calls out Conor McGregor at UFC on Fox
While Jake Paul’s callout of Conor McGregor was savage, it wasn’t the first time that the Irish superstar had seen some serious shade thrown his way. Plenty of fighters have called out The Notorious One since he arrived in the UFC in 2013, but the most disrespectful was definitely Nate Diaz.
At the time, McGregor had just dethroned Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight title, while Diaz was coming back from a year-long layoff to face Michael Johnson a week later. Diaz duly defeated Johnson by unanimous decision, and before Joe Rogan could conduct his post-fight interview, Stockton’s favorite son grabbed the mic and began to rant.
“Conor McGregor, you’re taking everything I work for m***********, I’m gonna fight your a**! You know that the real money fight is me,” was the famous line used by Diaz, who turned the air blue live on Fox.
Joe Rogan was quick to tell the TUF 5 winner that he “couldn’t talk like that” on network television, but the callout was done, and the MMA world was set alight. Up to this point, it’d always been McGregor firing the insults at his opponents, and nobody had disrespected him like this.
Just three months later, Diaz would step in on late notice and defeat McGregor – turning himself into one of the UFC’s biggest superstars in the process.
#2 Nick Diaz claims Georges St. Pierre is scared
While Nate Diaz’s callout of Conor McGregor was pretty legendary, it’s safe to say that he probably learned all of his trash-talking techniques from his older brother Nick. The latter was responsible for a legendary disrespectful callout a few years earlier.
When the UFC bought out the StrikeForce promotion in 2011, the MMA world began to salivate over the potential fights between the superstars of both promotions. One such superfight was a battle between UFC Welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre and his StrikeForce equivalent, Nick Diaz.
The fight was signed for UFC 137 but fell apart shortly before the event when the UFC pulled Diaz for refusing to attend pre-fight press conferences. Instead, GSP was matched with Carlos Condit – only to pull out of the event entirely, citing a knee injury.
The UFC decided to make a fight between Diaz and BJ Penn and move it into the main slot instead. And when Diaz defeated the Hawaiian, it was pretty clear that he was about to call out St. Pierre.
Sure enough, after yelling “Where you at Georges?!” off-mic, Diaz took the opportunity to challenge the Canadian UFC legend. “I don’t think Georges is hurt, I think he’s scared,” stated Diaz, essentially accusing St. Pierre of ducking him.
GSP responded by taunting Diaz from the crowd, and one of the UFC’s biggest-ever rivalries immediately began. It would actually take almost two more years for the UFC to put together the fight. But the show it headlined – UFC 158 – drew over a million pay-per-view buys. And while Diaz lost, his disrespectful callout of St. Pierre definitely made him a richer man.
#3 GSP is not impressed
While Georges St. Pierre was usually a mild-mannered fighter throughout his UFC career – preferring to do his talking inside the Octagon – he was also no stranger to a disrespectful callout.
His notorious insult to then-UFC Welterweight champ Matt Hughes at UFC 63 went down in UFC folklore and is still responsible for plenty of internet memes today.
At the time – late 2006 – the UFC Welterweight title picture was a muddy one. Long-time champ Matt Hughes had been dethroned by BJ Penn in 2004, but Penn then relinquished the title, and Hughes reclaimed the vacant crown by defeating St. Pierre.
Penn then returned to the UFC, only for St. Pierre to beat him in a number one contender’s fight, setting up his own rematch with Hughes. But GSP injured his knee prior to UFC 63, and so the UFC turned to Penn to fill in the gap.
And so, after a titanic battle, Hughes finally defeated The Prodigy by third-round TKO, putting in one of the best showings of his UFC career in the process. Evidently, though, St. Pierre didn’t see things that way.
Entering the Octagon to challenge Hughes for a future title fight, GSP stunned everyone by telling Hughes “I’m not impressed by your performance."
Sure, it wasn’t a vulgar or foul-mouthed callout, but for a respectful fighter like St. Pierre, this was shocking stuff.
St. Pierre would indeed go onto defeat Hughes for the title – and then put together one of the greatest UFC title runs in history. And his “not impressed” line would continue to be used for years after GSP uttered it, appearing in countless YouTube memes along the way.
#4 Chael Sonnen challenges Anderson Silva
Chael Sonnen was already renowned as a master of trash-talking by the time that he unleashed his most disrespectful callout. But his rant at UFC 136 towards UFC Middleweight champ Anderson Silva took things to another level entirely.
Sonnen’s rivalry with Silva had begun a year earlier, when the two clashed at UFC 117 with Silva’s UFC title on the line. The American Gangster beat the hell out of Silva for four straight rounds, only to fall to a triangle choke late in the fifth round.
It looked like the UFC would book an immediate rematch, but Sonnen’s positive test for PEDs put paid to that and saw him sidelined for over a year. But when he returned and defeated Brian Stann, he clearly hadn’t forgotten about his feud with the champ.
Handed the mic by Joe Rogan, Sonnen went on an epic rant that begun with a simple statement: “Anderson Silva, you absolutely s***!”
The American Gangster then called Silva out for another UFC Middleweight title match, stating that he would leave the UFC forever if he lost.
The UFC followed through and booked the fight at UFC 148 – creating one of the biggest UFC pay-per-views in promotional history. And although Silva once again defeated Sonnen, he didn’t live up to his word and leave the UFC.
Instead, he stuck around for more fights – and more disrespectful callouts, like an infamous 2013 one that saw him claim that before he met Wanderlei Silva, he “didn’t know they could stack crap that high”!
#5 Jorge Rivera seriously insults Michael Bisping
Plenty of today’s UFC fans would not remember Jorge Rivera. El Conquistador – who fought in the UFC’s Middleweight division from 2003 to 2012 – was a solid if unspectacular journeyman who never really had an outspoken personality.
However, in late 2010, Rivera decided to change all of that by calling out highly-rated contender Michael Bisping. Rather than do it through the usual channels, though, Rivera decided to have a little fun.
He took jabs at Bisping in a series of YouTube videos, insulting everything from his character, bravery, and fighting skills to his family and native UK. The videos were definitely funny, but they were also massively disrespectful, and to say they got under the skin of The Count would be an understatement.
Bisping came into his fight with Rivera at UFC 127 absolutely fired up. He showed his own disrespectful side by hurting El Conquistador with an illegal knee before putting him away via TKO in the second round.
The Count then took things further again, this time by spitting on the fallen Rivera and aiming insults at his corner.
Most MMA fans were horrified with Bisping’s actions, but given the disrespectful nature of Rivera’s callout, it was hard to suggest that they weren’t justified.