As Conor McGregor's status as a global star has increased over the past few months, so has his apparent beef with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr.
One week we hear Mayweather dissing McGregor, the next it has been the Irish star hitting back with his own sharp tongue. Coupled with Mayweather's ongoing feud with the UFC fighter's female peer, Ronda Rousey, it certainly appears that the now-retired boxer isn't exactly a huge fan of the UFC.
According to Mayweather himself, however, that couldn't be further from the truth. Responding to the accusations in the wake of McGregor's UFC 196 defeat, the US fighter took a shot at the media for twisting his words.
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"I never once said anything negative about Ronda Rousey. Never," said Mayweather, via Bleacher Report.
"I never once said anything disrespectful about, I want to make sure I call his name right, Conor McGregor? Okay. I never said anything negative about them."
Previous quotes attributed to the 39-year-old would suggest otherwise. The fighter famously asked 'who is he?' when questioned about Rousey, while he appeared to draw McGregor into a race row earlier this year.
Mayweather, though, insists his words have often been taken out of context:
"Now, I can wake up on the wrong side of the bed and not be happy that day because I'm not well rested. They can ask me a question about a male or a female, but if I'm not happy, I may say, 'You know what? I don't give a f--k about them,' he continued.
"And then you know what the media is going to say? 'Floyd said f--k them.' When I basically said, 'I don't give a f--k about them."
As one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in sport, Mayweather's words are always scrutinized whatever the subject.
"Basically I'm saying, 'I don't even want to talk about them today. I just want to talk about me,' but they're going to take your words and twist it and put it out there the way that they want to put it out there.
"Remember, before it was Ronda Rousey. Then when she took an L, they moved her out the way and now they put someone else in her place."
Whether this is an attempt by Mayweather to build bridges is unclear. But, with the former fighter admitting he may promote MMA fights in the future, it might be best to try smooth things over with two of the UFC's biggest names.
"If I was involved with MMA sports, then my beef would be with MMA guys," he said. But I’m not involved in MMA sports.
"I don’t have no plans in getting involved as far as competing physical in MMA, but I do look forward to getting fighters and doing MMA fights in the future. And I’m talking about 2016."
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