After his 13-second knockout victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 194, Conor McGregor ended 2015 as one of the biggest names in sport but the controversial UFC superstar hasn't won around everyone as we begin 2016.
That's after Floyd Mayweather Jr., a man who knows a lot about walking the tightrope between villain and superstar, has revealed just why he thinks the Irishman has become so popular.
As you might expect, the now retired boxing great's theory is typically controversial.
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"I don't really know the McGregor guy, never seen him fight,” Mayweather told FightHype.com, via Yahoo Sports. “I heard his name actually from one of the runners that works for our company...He told me about the guy McGregor.
“They say he talks a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I'm cocky and arrogant.
"So biased! Like I said before, all I'm saying is this: I ain't racist at all, but I'm telling you racism still exists.”
There's no doubt that McGregor and Mayweather are both experts in the art of trash-talking. But, as Mayweather alludes to, his comments often drew scrutiny from the media and public.
McGregor, on the other hand (for now at least) appears to have avoided such reprimands - with fans appearing to lap up any derogatory comments or put downs the UFC champ has made in recent months.
Whether that contrast is down to race, however, is almost impossible to say. While recent issues in US sport have highlighted that racist undertones still, unfortunately, exist, Mayweather's own past may have something to do with how people view him.
Mayweather's history with domestic violence issues, for instance, is a large reason for his vilification. Moreover, the fact he was at the top of boxing for so long means it is possible fans simply got tired of his lavish, headline-grabbing ways.
McGregor, meanwhile, is just beginning to prick the consciousness of the world outside the UFC octagon, and his exciting fighting style has helped him pick up fans very quickly.
He already has his detractors, however, and, if he stays at the top of his sport for as long as Mayweather managed, they will only increase - as is the nature of sport.
Fight fans: Do you think Mayweather has a point or is Mayweather searching for controversy? Have your say in the comments below...
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