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Italian gym denies Conor McGregor training space; issue later resolved

Conor McGregor is well-known for his disciplined training routines
Conor McGregor is well-known for his disciplined training routines
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 06 Oct 2020, 04:54 IST
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Conor McGregor returned to the win column with a spectacular TKO victory over Donald Cerrone in January. Regardless, McGregor hasn’t competed since the aforesaid fight and is yet to announce his return to active professional MMA competition.

Conor McGregor denied training space in La Spezia

As reported by Citta della Spezia, UFC megastar and MMA icon Conor McGregor was denied the opportunity to train at the Round Zero Gym in La Spezia, Italy.

The former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion was vacationing in Liguria, Italy. Conor McGregor and his family then chose to stay in La Spezia and he purportedly requested the gym as a place to train for a week.

Luca Riccardi, the owner of the gym, recalled that Conor McGregor entered his gym and asked to use it. Riccardi noted that he looked at the list of registered students and realized he wouldn’t be able to fulfill McGregor’s request.

Additionally, Riccardi pointed out that he would’ve had to send someone home to meet Conor McGregor's demands. But it would've been one of the very people who help pay his bills, which is why he politely let turned the Irishman down.

Later that afternoon, Riccardi spoke to his son Leonardo regarding the incident with Conor McGregor. Riccardi revealed that his son told him he was crazy for turning him away.

The following day, Conor McGregor and his team returned to the gym and this time around, Riccardi did let them train.

Riccardi explained that he had a word with his customers over whether they’d be alright with Conor McGregor occupying the training space. He said his customers agreed and told him they’d be proud of hosting McGregor at the gym. They then moved to a smaller secondary room.

Furthermore, he described Conor McGregor as being very humble and kind. Riccardi, a boxing coach, expounded upon his training experience with McGregor, stating:

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“He warmed up and then asked me to train together. I wasn’t embarrassed, I’m a coach so I treated him the same way I would have treated any other student. I noticed that he almost never go for the body, he always looking for the headshot. I even gave him a couple of advice since he’s willing to fight Pacquiao.” (*H/T BJPenn.com for the quotes’ English translation)

Moreover, Riccardi stressed that he acted professionally throughout his interactions with Conor McGregor. He added that the only time he got emotional was when the combat sports legend sparred his son, before turning around and saying that he will be a future champion.

Will Conor McGregor ever return to the UFC?

Conor McGregor is seemingly set to face Dustin Poirier in an exhibition martial arts matchup later this year.

However, as far as McGregor’s return to professional MMA or boxing competition is concerned, the talented KO artist is yet to officially confirm his comeback date and opponent.

What are your views on Conor McGregor’s experience in Italy? Sound off in the comments.

Published 06 Oct 2020, 04:54 IST
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