UFC news: Conor McGregor takes thinly-veiled digs at Jake Paul in interview

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We're now just a week away from Conor McGregor's next fight against Dustin Poirier. 

The Notorious will return to the Octagon at UFC 257, but much of the build-up has, as ever, been dominated by talk of other potential opponents. 

Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov could be open to coming out of retirement, while social media hit Jake Paul has had little luck trying to call out McGregor for a boxing match. 

Paul has a 2-0 record in his professional career so far, though he still has much to do to convince sceptics that his fledging career is anything more than a publicity stunt. 

McGregor has largely remained quiet - despite Paul offering him $50 million in an x-rated call-out video

However, the topic of YouTubers entering the world of boxing did come up in a recent interview. 

A Bloomberg reporter asked:

"A lot of people are criticizing [YouTube boxing] as maybe making a bit of a mockery of fighting. It's the predominant view among fans of combat sports...I want you to weigh in on that for me."

McGregor responds

McGregor initially appeared to be supportive of the premise, but pointed out that the recent exhibition match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr - which had Paul vs Nate Robinson on the undercard - was really what helped to bring publicity to the event. 

"If they are fighting well then it can't make a mockery of fighting. They're getting in and competing. I am not so much against it," he said. 

"What I will say though is the numbers that that show calculated was a Mike Tyson fight. You had an icon fighting as well as Roy Jones Jnr, two GOATs of combat sports.

"And then you had the YouTube kid and NBA star competing underneath that. So they done good business."

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Calling him "the YouTube kid" won't go down well with Paul. The 24-year-old has desperately trying to attract the UFC superstar's attention and it could well be a deliberate ploy of McGregor to pretend not to know his name. 

The Irishman then went on to point out those fights were "not the most high level - if any level". 

"Am I into those competitions myself? You know it's not the most high level - if any level - at that stage," McGregor added. 

"Obviously the Tyson vs Jones fight was very high level and very interesting to see what they're like in their older age. I thought they both fought amazingly.

"As they say, if it makes dollars, it makes sense. I know Dana and the UFC are not really into it, but I'm not so against it.

"I think if people are willing to get in and take the risk of making that walk, I'm certainly a viewer."

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