When UFC 200 was first announced, Conor McGregor was expected to face Nate Diaz in the main event until the outspoken Irishman refused to attend a pre-fight press conference that got him booted from the event.
McGregor’s standoff with the UFC ended shortly after when he was booked to fight Diaz in August instead, but his issue flying from Iceland to Las Vegas for the press conference still left him at odds with the promotion.
Fast forward to this past December and Ronda Rousey was granted her request to be sequestered from the media in the lead up to her title fight against Amanda Nunes. The UFC had never allowed an athlete to miss out on events like press conferences or open workouts but Rousey was given an exception after personally asking UFC president Dana White for the concession.
Just recently, McGregor was asked about his feelings on Rousey being given a media blackout while he was booted off a card for asking to miss one pre-fight press conference. Needless to say, McGregor wasn’t angry with Rousey whatsoever.
“I didn’t give a (expletive). I’m the two-weight world champion at that stage. I’m (expletive) richer than rich. I don’t give a bullocks,” McGregor said at his recent Q&A in England.
While Rousey was able to skip out on all of her media obligations, the lack of distractions ultimately played no part in the outcome of the fight as bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes finished her in just 48 seconds into the first round.
The devastating loss marked the second time in a row Rousey has been finished by knockout and afterwards it appeared that her career with the UFC could soon be coming to a close.
In the pantheon of UFC superstars, the top draws in the history of the sport has started and stopped with McGregor and Rousey, but with the former women’s champion losing two fights in a row while steering towards retirement it seemed like advantageous timing for the Irishman to make even bigger demands from the promotion to get what he wants.
McGregor didn’t see it that way, however, because he refused to find worth in his own brand as a related effect of Rousey’s downfall.
“When Ronda lost, I wake up to all these messages ‘now lets see what they do’ and I’m like what? I love Ronda. I was always a big supporter of Ronda. When she loses that second one and people are trying to make me celebrate ‘now there’s not nobody’. That’s the wrong mindset,” McGregor explained. “I don’t celebrate another person’s defeat like that.
“That’s weak. That’s a weak individual. There’s people that tried to celebrate when I lost that got nothing to do with it. That’s not the sign of a champion. That ain’t the sign of true champion. I couldn’t believe it.”
The same could be said regarding McGregor’s attitude towards Rousey receiving privileges that he wasn’t granted.
McGregor isn’t going to feel slighted because Rousey was able to skip out on media ahead of her fight while he was tossed off a card for a similar request. Instead, McGregor is only worried about his own career and Rousey has no effect on that whatsoever.
“What someone else does or doesn’t do, has no effect on me and what I do. I do what I do, she’s doing what she’s doing, everybody else is doing what they’re doing. It is what it is,” McGregor said. “She didn’t have to do the media and got away with that. That’s great. I probably would liked it if they did that for me, I probably would have showed up at UFC 200. But we’ll split the card. UFC 200 did great numbers, UFC 202 did great numbers and it also just gave me that extra bit of time that looking back, I probably needed. I probably needed that extra time so that worked out perfect for me.
“So I heard that she requested for no media, they gave her no media and I was happy for her because that’s what she asked for and then I also didn’t give a (expletive).”