Conor McGregor will fight again in less than a week. The Irishman is the UFC’s biggest superstar but he’s also incredibly controversial. McGregor has been in serious legal difficulties in recent times. These include allegations of sexual assault.
MMA media has been accused of going easy on McGregor. ESPN journalist Arial Helwani is frequently accused of being a schill. But now he’s directly asked the Irishman about the allegations. The Notorious was visibly emotional throughout this section of the interview.
Check out the clip for yourself and decide what you think. Some believe that he shouldn’t fight until proven innocent. However, others think that he has the right to make a living until charges are pressed. These are not the type of allegations you want hanging around your name.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 13, 2020
Helwani has been accused of going easy on McGregor in the past. This time he didn’t hold back and directly asked the Irishman about the allegations. Some might say that he actually pushed too hard.
“Look, just no, I can’t say anything about this. It just has to take place, right?” McGregor told Ariel Helwani when asked for a comment.
“Time, time, time Ariel. Patience. Patience is a skill we must master. Patience is one of the most valuable skills a human being must master. And I’m working hard to master it, and I feel I’m getting there. So, Time will show all them. That’s it. Right now, I’m focused on the belt. Focused; positivity, good thoughts. And I’ll say a prayer for those who’d try and curse me, try and bring harm to me with these type of things. And that’s it.”
When asked point-blank if he denied the allegations against him, McGregor was emphatic. “Yes, of course. Of course. Yes, f***ing hell Ariel, c’mon. Seriously. Time, time, please just time, that’s all. Time will reveal all. Time will tell all them. And yeah, I just, that’s it.”
As you can see from the footage above, many Irish people are unaware that McGregor is fighting this weekend. This is significant because he is by far their most famous athlete. Furthermore, they explain that his recent behavior has alienated him from his people.
Meanwhile, his lack of activity and wins recently is also a key factor. The Irishman has only fought twice in MMA since 2016 so the excitement has fizzled out. Those who still support him think that if he gets past Cerrone he needs to get his next fight booked quickly. It will be fascinating to see how many fans travel to Las Vegas from Ireland, especially with it being immediately after Christmas.
Lots of Fans
However, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh disagrees with this prognosis. He says on a personal level he hasn’t seen any signs of ‘The Notorious’ losing fans. Kavanagh told the Eurobash podcast:
“I’d love for people to spend a little bit of time, like I do, driving through town with Conor or having to call into a shop with Conor, and being mobbed for selfies and people shaking his hand and congratulating him. I think people sometimes confuse Twitter life with real life and believe stuff on Twitter, but very, very few people are on Twitter.
In real life, when you’re going through Dublin and the airport, there are crowds of people screaming and running up to us. I’m not sure I agree with that, maybe there will be a couple of people on Twitter that will write something nice after it if he wins, but I wouldn’t hold my breathe on that. When I’m physically with him, no…all I see is mobs of fans.”