Conor McGregor’s undoubtedly the badass of the fighting world. Since switching his focus to MMA around a decade ago, he’s become one of the most feared fighters on the planet, decimating opponents on his merry way to the top of the MMA and UFC rankings. But his MMA ability alone isn’t what’s made him the biggest draw in UFC history. It’s his ruthlessness and sheer confidence when it comes to everything about the business that’s gained him a whole heap of fans, and enemies – but importantly, cash –that’s made him a mightily successful fighter. Because of his level of self-assurance many people deem him to be arrogant, but he, more than any other fighter, has a right to be. Combined with his whole demeanor and attitude, there’s always going to be some form of controversy when Conor’s around, especially when he’s got a mic in hand. We’ve seen a lot of these moments over the years, some entertaining, some cringeworthy and downright ridiculous – you can make your own minds up which ones are which.
He’s not one for apologizing, but I’m sure, after some of the things he’s done and said, once he’s taken some time out to think about his antics and the dust has settled, he’d also be wishing that he’d have simmered down. These are 15 of these moments – moments Conor probably regrets and would therefore want you to forget about.
15. Shotgun Pic
Some celebs really do stupid things without thinking about any potential consequences, and without stopping to think how fans will react. That’s the thing with social media; once you post something, it’s up, it’s out there for everyone to see, and even if you take it down later, people will still hold it against you.
Conor found himself in this situation when he posted a pic on his Instagram page of him posing with a shotgun. It was in really poor taste and fans weren’t shy in venting their anger at him and letting him know their thoughts. The picture was just another way for him to show off his lifestyle, his wealth, but when “tons of innocent people are dying every day and the gun’s being held like a toy” in a menacing fashion, as one person commented, it wasn’t the brightest thing Conor’s ever done. Stick to posting pics of fancy cars Conor!
14. “F*** You And The Queen”
In 2015, Conor went on a rant on Facebook after getting plenty of grief from his so-called fans and a lot of the Irish media. He was accused of “selling out the Irish people” when he appeared in a picture wearing a poppy, which symbolizes support for Remembrance Sunday and all the lives lost. For those of you who know your history, you’d be aware that Ireland and Britain have had a checkered past, and so many people in Ireland choose not to wear poppies because of the actions of British soldiers. Conor though, wore the poppy with pride, saying it was his way to commemorate all wars and all soldiers.
Wearing the poppy isn’t something he’d want you to forget. But the tirade of abuse he began unfurling onto anyone and everyone certainly is something he’d want to take back. “F*** you and the Queen” was one of the comments he’d like you to forget – no need to take things that far.
13. Khloe Kardashian Comment
Boy does Conor put his foot in it – this time he sparked controversy due to his comments about one of the most-loved reality TV personalities on the planet. I doubt if Conor and Khloe have even ever crossed paths, but Conor, as he does, still felt the need to make his opinions heard. A couple of months ago, while residing in California, enjoying some time off, he was asked by GQ Magazine what he was doing in California, and from the answers he gave, it appeared as if he was going Kardashian hunting in his spare time. It sounds kind of sinister, but that’s exactly the type of perception people got from that interview. Here are his exact words: “I don’t give a f*** about the Kardashians, but I’d like to see them in the flesh to see them big asses. I’d search for Khloe’s big fat a**.” He insisted it was all meant as a compliment – not sure Khloe saw it like that.
12. “F*** politics And F*** Religion” Comments
Here’s another expletive outburst by Conor. In fact, it was a follow on from his comments around the time of Remembrance Sunday in 2015. After defending himself for wearing a poppy, launching abuse at anyone who dared to criticize him – and those who didn’t, like the queen – he’d just seemingly had enough and used that moment to get everything off his chest. He took it as an opportune moment to start criticizing everyone and anyone, using his social media to do so. After he’d put the poppy-wearing incident to bed and had bitten back against anyone who dared to speak out about his choices, he took to Twitter – a dangerous platform for someone like Conor – and said: “F*** politics and f*** religion. I just want to swing a few lefts and a few rights for a couple of hundred mill in peace.” We hear you Conor, but maybe he should have done just that instead of venting all of his frustrations on social media.
11. Weight-Cutting Controversy
One thing a lot of fighters find particularly tough about the sport, is the dieting and physical conditioning side of things. This is done not only to ensure you’re in top shape for a fight and are ready to go, but it also has to be done in accordance with the weight category you’re fighting in – i.e. if you’re fighting in the featherweight division, you can’t allow yourself to blow up to over 200 lbs. Over the years, the UFC, and Conor in particular has drawn a lot of criticism because of the way he prepares for fights and brings down his weight. Bringing down five or ten pounds is the norm, but Conor’s weight-cutting has been drastic; he loses a lot in a relatively short space of time – for example, he lost 28 lbs in eight days to make the weight for his fight with Chad Mendes. That’s not something you really want people knowing – it’s not exactly healthy; it’s severe weight loss and not something you really want people to follow.
10. Attacking WWE Superstars
This one riled up a lot of people, wrestlers, those who have made the transition to MMA, and wrestling fans. He called out the whole WWE locker-room, calling them “messed up p***ies” and criticized all those who have transitioned from the ring to the octagon. Whether those comments were part of a ploy to get some WWE involvement or they’re his true views on WWE Superstars, it’s gotten a lot of people talking. Triple H has said that “Conor’s custom-made for the WWE,” and there’s been plenty of rumors circulating that he may actually get involved in wrestling at one stage.
Understandably he’s also faced plenty of criticism, from fans but also from wrestlers, such as from Kurt Angle, and lately, Baron Corbin who’s said he’d bury him. Attacking WWE wrestlers certainly wasn’t going to win Conor a whole heap of friends.
9. Loss To Nate Diaz
For a man of Conor’s stature, any type of loss is going to be hard to take, but his defeat at the hands of Nate Diaz must have been seriously tough. Before the fight, Conor, as he tends to do, was uber confident and was getting really cocky. The two fighters were at loggerheads, constantly trading insults and a few blows at the face-off before the fight. It was heating up to be one hell of a contest, but even so, Conor was the overwhelming favorite. That’s why it shocked pretty much everyone – apart from Diaz and his team – that Diaz emerged victorious. But it wasn’t just the fact that he lost that Conor would want you to forget. It’s the fact that he lost to a step in for Rafael dos Anjos. Diaz was only given 13 days notice to prepare for the fight, and he ended up winning, breaking Conor’s 15 fight winning streak with his first loss in UFC.
8. Controversial Win
There was so much hype and anticipation over the first fight between the two, that there was always going to be the second, especially since Conor, the overwhelming favorite the first time around, ended up losing. The major draw in UFC had to be given an opportunity to avenge his defeat, so McGregor vs Diaz take two was always going to happen. The second time around, Conor emerged victorious, but the fact he didn’t win the fight outright and the huge amount of controversy that ensued is certainly something he’d want to forget. Sure, a win’s a win, but there were plenty who had Diaz winning the fight. There was a lot of controversy over the fact the decision was given to Conor, and the scorecards, a lot of people felt, were more than a tad dodgy.
7. Getting Riled Up After His Fight At UFC 205
On the historical night in November at UFC 205, Conor was always going to be the main draw. Held at Madison Square Garden, the stage was set for something special, and Conor delivered in the only way he knows how, emerging victorious and by doing so, becoming the first fighter to hold two UFC championships in two different weight classes. But his post-fight comments very nearly ended up tarnishing the whole night. Conor was getting really pissed off that his newly-won Featherweight Championship belt wasn’t with him straight away, and started swearing and shouting, getting people in UFC pretty agitated and worried.
Then when the mic got shoved in his face, he continued, carrying on in classic Conor style: “I’ve ridiculed everyone on the roster, I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to take this chance to apologize to absolutely nobody. The double champ does what the f*** he wants.”
6. UFC 202 Pre-Fight Conference
Conor has a knack for not really caring what people think, for his explosive interviews and conferences, but the pre-fight UFC 202 conference, I think everyone would agree, went way too far. It was just utter chaos and not something you really want to see from a professional athlete who’s at the top of his game and supposed to be a role model for tons of people.
As Conor stormed out of the theatre, he decided he wanted to give Diaz and his team a send-off. They started trading expletives, but then bottles started to be thrown, and Conor even threw a canned energy drink.
The incident made UFC 202 one of the highest-selling events of all time, but understandably, the Nevada Athletic Commission wasn’t pleased. They fined Conor $150,000 and sentenced him to 50 hours of community service. Regrettable actions with massive consequences.
5. Short-Lived Retirement
This happens to a lot of fighters. Something happens, a thought has popped in their heads, and then all of a sudden, they announce they want to walk away from the sport. That’s what happened in Conor’s case.
In early 2016, Conor announced his retirement. It was actually thought to be a power struggle between Conor and UFC – even though they’d been extremely beneficial for each other, Conor wanted to grow and become bigger than the organization itself.
Conor didn’t show up to promotional events for UFC 200, there was lots of haggling between himself and Dana White, and the end result was that he was pulled from the event, and shortly after all of this, Conor tweeted that he’d be retiring. There’s still an air of mystery over what actually happened and what exactly Conor wanted, but whatever his intentions were, it all ended up getting sorted out because he was back to doing what he does best a matter of months later.
4. Antics Leading Up To The Jose Aldo Fight
Here’s another explosive press conference that went way too far – one that Conor would want you to forget, because although it created plenty of hype for the subsequent fight, it’s not really behavior befitting a champion, or behavior the UFC condones or wants to see.
Aldo hadn’t been beaten for a decade, and so Conor wanted to do everything possible to get under his skin and rile him up. Plenty of insults were being traded back and forth, but Conor had the backing of his home crowd, so stepped it up a notch. He reached across and grabbed Aldo’s belt, and then, understandably, things just escalated and the two fighters had to be kept apart. Fourteen weeks out from the event and things had already reached boiling point.
3. McGregor vs Mayweather May Never Happen
Type Conor McGregor’s name into a search engine nowadays and the only thing that’s going to come up is the potential super-fight between himself and boxing star, Floyd Mayweather. Every time you look for Conor McGregor news, there’s something else being said about the fight, different details that are emerging, but, as of yet, everything’s still up in the air – it’s all speculation. We know that both camps are in talks, that it could happen, but they’re teasing us; months have passed since the speculation started brewing, and we’re no closer to knowing any real firm details about the fight.
It’s certainly something he’d like to forget, the fact that nothing’s a certainty and nothing’s yet happened. Conor wants to get it on – he’s even gone and got himself a boxing licence – but there’s a lot of stuff that still needs to be sorted out.
2. Pre-Fight UFC 205
Here’s another incident that threatened to get out of hand – another heated press conference involving Conor that almost got physical. Conor’s been fined and has gotten into plenty of hot water for throwing cans and bottles at a press conference before, and it very nearly happened again, this time it was a chair that Conor picked up in an effort to inflict some damage.
He pissed off Alvarez from the get go by turning up 10 minutes late. Then, when he did, the taunts started coming, there was plenty of back and forth between the two fighters, and it ended up with Conor losing his cool. He picked up a chair and was about to chuck it at Alvarez, before Dana White stopped things from getting out of control and had to intervene.
1. He Cried After His First Loss To Artemij Sitenkov
Conor got into MMA and quickly realized that he had talent, and wanted to make it his profession. Like any youngster, especially fighters, he started getting into the octagon with a supreme amount of confidence, thinking he was invincible. That’s why his first professional defeat in 2008 in front of his home crowd, to Artemij Sitenkov, must have been incredibly hard to take, even more so since he lost in 69 seconds, and was expected to win easily – his opponent was apparently handpicked. Artemij recalls seeing Conor distraught and actually crying after that fight, so much so that he had to be consoled by his coach. Since then he’s handled his defeats a little better, but crying after a loss isn’t something a hard man Conor McGregor would want you to know about.
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