Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Conor McGregor was on the scene in Glasgow, Scotland last Friday for a special Q&A with mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, the first public appearance from the power-punching Irishman since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last August.
Full recap here.
Not surprisingly, the tenth-round technical knockout finish, which came by way of veteran referee Robert Byrd in Las Vegas, Nevada, drew the ire of “Notorious” and his fans, who insist the standing finish was premature and did not afford McGregor the opportunity to fight his way out of trouble.
During the Q&A, “Mystic Mac” lambasted Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the stoppage, as well as its selection of Byrd, husband of embattled combat sports judge Adalaide Byrd, which did not sit well with executive director Bob Bennett.
From his conversation with MMA Fighting:
“All I can say is we did our job. That’s what we get paid to do and that’s what we did. I find it very disappointing that Conor would make derogatory remarks that the fight was stopped too early when really the timing of referee Robert Byrd’s stoppage was impeccable. We looked out for his health and safety. We did everything we could to ensure it was a level playing field. I think the fight was very exciting. The fans loved it. The health and safety of the fighter was always at the forefront, from the beginning of the fight. There’s no doubt Conor did a phenomenal job, fighting a future Hall of Famer. Obviously, Floyd had his game plan that worked as well. The actual stoppage, we looked out for the health and safety of the fighter, which is our responsibility.”
Watch the replay of Mayweather’s finish here.
The counter to McGregor’s argument is that “Notorious” was not punching back and simply absorbing punishment against the ropes. In addition, this was his first foray into the world of boxing and was being protected as a first-time pugilist.
To let the fight continue, according to experts, would be risking brain damage.
Now that McGregor is done trying his hand at the “Sweet Science,” he can plan his return to mixed martial arts (MMA), which may or may not come at the end of UFC 217, depending on how this fight ends.