Conor McGregor Sits Down For Most Honest And Revealing Interview Yet
Conor McGregor took part in a wide-ranging interview with respected MMA journalist Ariel Helwani for ESPN SportsCenter last night and discussed many topics, including footage of him striking a 50-year old man in a bar in April as well as his UFC return.
Footage of 'The Notorious' striking the elderly chap at The Marble Arch Pub in Dublin on April 6 after he reportedly declined his invitation to have a free drink of his whiskey, quickly went viral.
It's said the man didn't leave his house for a week following the assault and he since called McGregor a "bully with money" for his actions.
But speaking about the incident for the first time, McGregor apologised for his "completely unacceptable" behaviour, saying it doesn't reflect who he is and that has to take accountability because he owes it to those who have supported him throughout his career.
"I was in the wrong,' the 31-year old told ESPN.
"That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did.
"I tried to make amends and I made amends back then. But it doesn't matter. I was in the wrong. I must come here before you and take accountability and take responsibility. I owe it to the people that have been supporting me.
"I owe it to my mother, my father, my family. I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts.
"That's not who I am. That's not the reason why I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario. Whatever comes my way, I will face it."
In March, prior to the incident in the pub, McGregor was filmed stealing a man's phone out of his hand and stamping on it outside a club in Miami.
He was arrested and charged before the charges were dropped but the Irishman acknowledges that he needs to do stop getting himself in situations.
"I need to just stop reacting to the bait," McGregor stated.
"People are trying to bait me into things. Am I the fish or am I the whale? I must be calm, I must be zen. I must lead by example. There's so many people looking up to me. How can I react in this way? I need to get ahold of this and, like I said, I'm working very hard to do this."
Conversation in the 41 minute chat soon shifted to UFC, with McGregor revealing he is desperate to get his world title back following his damaging defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October - where he believes his camp was incorrect.
He says he was slated to return to the Octagon in July and face Justin Gaethje at Madison Square Garden until he needed surgery on his hand after breaking it during sparring.
However, UFC's biggest star is hopeful of fighting before 2019 is done and dropped a series of names regarding potential opponents.
"I want my world title back, I want that redemption... the camp was incorrect," McGregor admitted, as per The Mirror.
"[But] I'm not going to wait around, if Dustin does it, it's dustin, if it's Nate [Diaz], Nate, if it's Jorge [Masvidal], Jorge... Tony Ferguson, Justin [Gaethje], [Max] Holloway, the [Jose] Aldo rematch.
"Frankie Edgar is also up there because he has similarities to Khabib, he runs on the back foot and shoots on the single leg. There are so many bouts for me but it doesn't matter, it's about getting back in and being who I am, not a shell of myself, not half-committed."
Who would you like to see McGregor face in his return fight?
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