Liam Neeson thinks ‘little leprechaun’ Conor McGregor has 'given Ireland a bad name’ and hates the UFC
| Last updated
Oscar-winning Irish actor Liam Neeson believes UFC megastar Conor McGregor has given the country a 'bad name'.
'The Notorious' has become one of the most famous athletes on the planet since making his debut in Dana White's promotion back in 2013.
McGregor is a former featherweight and lightweight champion, the first man to hold two UFC titles in different weight divisions at the same time.
His popularity has taken him even further than the Octagon. McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather in a huge inter-promotional boxing bout in 2017 and is involved with several business ventures, including the August McGregor clothing line and Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey.
The 34-year-old reportedly has a net worth of $200 million thanks to his worldwide fame. According to Neeson, he's given Ireland a poor reputation over the years.
McGregor regularly wears the Irish flag around his neck ahead of fights and doesn't hide his heritage. In an interview with Men’s Health, Neeson started the strangest beef of 2023 by going in on McGregor's antics.
The 70-year-old declared: "That little leprechaun Conor McGregor, he gives Ireland a bad name. I know he’s fit, and I admire him for that. But I can’t take it."
McGregor's fame naturally brings controversy. He and his bitter rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov, were suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 2018 after starting a brawl in the aftermath of their fight at UFC 229.
Outside the cage, McGregor pleaded guilty to assault in 2019 after striking a man at The Marble Arch Pub in Dublin.
Neeson didn't stop with his criticism of McGregor. He slammed the entire concept of mixed martial arts, despite the training that goes into it.
He continued: "UFC, I can’t stand [it]. That to me is like a bar fight.
"I know the practitioners are like, 'no, you’re wrong—the months of training we do.' Why don’t you just grab a beer bottle and hit the other guy over the head?"
Safe to say Neeson won't be in the crowd when McGregor makes his long-awaited return to action. McGregor has been out since July 2021 after breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier.
He's expected to make a comeback at some point this year, although his opponent remains up in the air. The former 'Champ-Champ' could be back on our screens even sooner.
He's reportedly accepted a coaching role on the next season of 'The Ultimate Fighter'. The opposing coach would be Tony Ferguson, who McGregor has feuded with in the past.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy & 20th Century Fox
Topics: Conor McGregor, UFC