conor mcgregor has slowly been winning me over. his striking against mendes was fantastic (although his ground skills were nonexistent), and his 13 second KO of aldo literally seemed unreal — after over a year of hype, i was in disbelief that the fight was over so quickly and quietly. it’s become clear to me that yup, mcgregor is certainly among the elite fighters in the world today.
but more than that, i like when mcgregor drops the brash irishman bullshit. like in his post fight interview after knocking out aldo, and the press conference afterward, he was much more relaxed, showed less bravado, didn’t shout…he just acted like a nice, normal guy, and i really preferred that to the usual mcgregor antics we witness.
and he just won me over some more the other day at the UFC 196 press conference. the whole conference was awesome, largely due to nate diaz being his legit, unflappable, zero bullshit, tough punk self (my fave diaz lines of the conference include “you’re on steroids,” “midget weight class, you fight midgets, you knocked out 3 midgets and you’re pumped up,” and his response to a question regarding whether he would stand and strike with mcgregor or test his jiu jitsu: “we’re gonna fight” — WOW. win or lose, diaz is the fucking man), but a part of the conference that stands out to me even though it will never become a highlight clip is when mcgregor discusses the seriousness of head trauma. it starts at 21:00 of the following vid.
again, he drops the pretension, he talks earnestly. he talks about the repercussions of not taking enough time off after being knocked out, how guys need to take a year, maybe 18 months off after a knockout to let their brain fully recover. that’s not the kind of thing fighters OR fans want to hear because it means less fights from some of the most exciting and popular fighters but it’s the truth as medical science has been showing more and more in recent years, and i’m happy that mcgregor said it. i’ve always thought he was smart in a savvy, business/promotional way but these comments illustrate how seriously he values health and how he hopes others do too, and that’s something i can totally get behind.
so props to mcgregor.
i still hope diaz chokes the shit out of him.