Conor McGregor’s menacing behaviour from the UFC’s world tour has provoked not just Jose Aldo, but also a host of UFC fighters (active and retired). The latest mixed martial artist to chime in on the Irishman’s bravado is former UFC legend Royce Gracie. The BJJ pioneer has been vocal as of late, revealing plans for his latest venture into Bellator, and now his loss of respect for Conor McGregor. Gracie recently caught up with Brazilian MMA outlet Combate:
“He’s the most talented, the best, the guy right now, but the way he’s talking now he’s fallen in my eyes. I don’t like it. I lost my respect for him,” Gracie told Combate.
It appears as though Gracie appreciates McGregor’s MMA craft but feels as though he’s crossed the line with his relentless antagonising of the featherweight champ. The 48-year-old continued by approving of Aldo’s stoic composure and compared McGregor’s promotional strategy to that of Muhammad Ali’s:
“Aldo is playing the right game, staying quiet. McGregor is taking Muhammad Ali’s model. He can say whatever he wants but he’s got to prove it. If he doesn’t prove it, his career is going to be short. He’s good, but he didn’t really need to talk all that. Aldo is playing the right game and he’ll prove it in the ring. McGregor is just disrespecting. Guys forget sometimes and lose respect—there’s no need for that”, Gracie explained to Combate.
While Aldo has brushed off most of McGregor’s teasing antics, the long-time champ lost his cool during the concluding press conference in Dublin. Aldo sprung from his seat in retaliation to the belt snatch only to run into the brick wall of Dana White, while McGregor roared alongside the Irish crowd.
Royce closed the interview by providing his prediction on the winner of Aldo/McGregor at UFC 189:
“McGregor is good, I like the guy, but he’s fallen a lot in my eyes after the media tour. The other guy is an animal, he’s tough, he’s been champion for years, he doesn’t lose because of this, he knows what he’s doing. Conor is new”, Gracie concluded.
It’s unclear as to who Gracie is predicting to emerge victorious. One thing is for sure though; he’s rooting for Jose Aldo to reclaim the featherweight title. Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo are set to square off for the highly anticipated UFC 189 card on July 11.
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