Conor McGregor recently tweeted and deleted a video of him laughing at Belal Muhammad and Anthony Smith working the desk for UFC Vegas 42. McGregor’s giggles seemingly sprung from Muhammad mistakenly claiming that Max Holloway was the first man to defeat Jose Aldo in the UFC.
That honour of course belongs to McGregor, who knocked off Aldo to win the UFC featherweight title in 2015. Since then McGregor has won the lightweight title and appeared in the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Recently he’s gone 1-3 in the UFC with a win over Donald Cerrone, two losses to Dustin Poirier and a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Muhammad’s comment, albeit incorrect, symbolizes how long it has been since McGregor’s name has been synonymous with his achievements inside the cage. Now McGregor’s name is most often seen in headlines discussing his over-the-top antics, juvenile online threats and legal woes.
On his radio show, Smith recently spoke about the shift in what McGregor is ‘notorious’ for.
“This is the second time that Conor’s come at me,” he said (ht MMA Junkie). “This one is not even my fault, and I don’t give a shit what Conor thinks about me, but I don’t know why he’s taken aim at me twice. But as I though about it, I think I figured it out. Conor’s been uber, uber successful. He’s made more money than he could ever spend. He’s made true, like, generational wealth. His kids’ kids’ kids’ kids are going to be just fine because of the things that Conor’s accomplished. What Conor can never get back, is he’ll never be one of us again – and it drives him absolutely crazy. He used to be – he used to be one of us.
“I found myself sitting at the desk wondering, like, does Conor miss what it felt like to be in the gym and just be one of the guys? Because he’s alienated himself from everybody. I’ve been around him a little bit. I don’t know him. But I’ve been around him and he was one of the guys. Then he kind of sold out and he starts taking shots at people and he kind of sold his soul for all that money. That’s fine if that’s what you want to do.”
Smith went on to say that a lot of McGregor’s recent antics, which include mocking the death of Nurmagomedov’s father and threatening Poirier’s family, are not purely for attention. Instead, Smith said, he thought that showed that McGregor was trying to prove to the world, and himself, that he is still “that guy” and a fighter to be feared.
“I think that it eats him alive that he’s never going to be one of the guys again. He’ll never fit in in our group. He’s not one of our peers anymore. It’s not because we kicked him out and didn’t want him – it’s the total opposite.
“We wanted Conor to be one of us. He alienated all of us and now he wants back in and we’re not going to let him in because he shit on every single one of us. It’s the comments he makes. That’s just his opportunity to try to – he wants the whole world to think that he’s the cool guy and we’re not, when in all reality, in our private situations and in our small world, he’s the outsider. He’s the one that no one’s letting back in.”
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