Conor McGregor admits taking trash talk against Khabib Nurmagomedov too far, claims he is solely focused on the rematch
Conor McGregor is undoubtedly right up there on the list of famous personalities who are equally known for their skills on the microphone along with their abilities in their respective fields.
The Irishman is known for his prolific trash talking in order to promote fights and there are various instances when his trash talk got to his opponents and gave him a vital mental edge over them heading into the fights, but there was one instance where McGregor crossed the line and ended up paying for it big-time.
Ahead of his fight against the reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, McGregor got a little too personal, making derogatory comments about Nurmagomedov's brothers, his father, his wife and his religion.
Usually, these antics work out in favor of the Irishman but it wasn't to be this time. Nurmagomedov's steely determination shone through in his performance as he punished McGregor throughout the fight before finally submitting 'The Notorious One' with a neck crank in the 4th round.
The bad blood between the pair was evident even in the lead up to the fight but when Nurmagomedov leaped the cage and pounced on McGregor's team after beating the latter, the rivalry became etched in stone as the biggest the UFC has ever witnessed.
In a recent interview with ESPN, McGregor relived the fight against Nurmagomedov and in retrospect, the former believes that he stretched things a bit too far with the trash talk.
“Some of the things maybe [went] too far but it is what it is. It’s the fight business. At the end of the day, it went the way it went. That’s it. It wasn’t just said. There were actions that led to what was said. It didn’t just get to words. There was actions that led to those words. Like things throughout the course of the build up like with the Artem [Lobov] situation. Things that maybe slipped under the radar like it was me that began all this. Whatever, it did get very, very personal.”
Although he admits he took things a little too far last time, McGregor is solely focused on avenging the defeat in a rematch later this year.
“I’m taking a backstep from that and I’m focusing on the skills. It’s a very skillful bout. He poses a specific style set and I pose a specific style set and it’s an interesting clash with two fully focused fighters and that’s what will happen in the next bout. I look forward to it, to settling it. I look forward to that competition fully focused. You can see the shape of me. Everyone knows. No matter what, that man can run but he cannot hide from it."
Published 03 Feb 2020, 18:09 IST