Irish professional MMA star Conor McGregor has been in the news in recent months for all the wrong reasons, putting doubt about his conduct and his future in the sport.
Mixed martial arts journalist Ariel Helwani took an interview for ESPN SportsCenter with McGregor last night, discussing a range of topics in the 41-minute chat.
The Irish ace gave his honest intake on all scenarios, ranging from matters inside the ring and out of it as well.
Security camera footage of McGregor striking an elderly at the Marble Arch Pub in Dublin on April 6 went viral, with the gentleman reportedly refusing Conor’s invitation to have a free drink of his whiskey.
The 50-year-old man is believed to not have left his house for a week following the assault and further branded Conor as ‘a bully with money’ for the incident.
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Upon being asked by Helwani to put forward his side of the story, McGregor was quick to apologise for the entire episode, his ‘unacceptable behaviour’, to be held accountable for his actions as it is his responsibility to maintain proper etiquette in his social life.
"I was in the wrong," he 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.”
However, it was not the first time this year that Conor encountered such negative publicity. In March, he was filmed grabbing a man’s phone out of his hand and stamping on it outside a pub in Miami, for which Conor was arrested and charged too.
Speaking on that issue, the former double world champion said: “I need to just stop reacting to the bait.
“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.”
Coming to his future plans, McGregor wasted little time in admitting that retirement is not at all on his agenda and revealed that he is ready to square up against Khabib Nurmagomedov once again in order to win back his world title.
Although, the 31-year-old aims for a return to the Octagon ahead of the end of 2019, he stated that he is prepared to take on any challenge, naming a wide range of potential candidates from the UFC.
“I want my world title back, I want that redemption... the camp was incorrect," McGregor continued.
“[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.”News Now - Sport News