In the commotion of the Conor McGregor/UFC dispute that ultimately ended up in a main event-cancelling stand-off, people have drawn sides as to which camp they can most empathize with. Fighters, fans and media have been a little divided on the matter.
Yet McGregor’s fellow European, Swedish light heavyweight Ilir Latifi, tends to side with McGregor, who refused to fly overseas to partake in the UFC 200 promotional tour going on this week.
After all, Latifi entered the UFC at the same time McGregor back in 2013 in Latifi’s native country.
“Me and Conor have a pretty cool history, because he debuted at the card that I was the main event,” Latifi said during an in-studio appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday. “Since then we’ve fought like three or four times at the same event. But you know he’s an amazing athlete. He’s lifted this sport to another level. What he’s done for this sport is amazing.
“He’s a great athlete, he’s a great performer, but he’s not only an athlete, he’s an artist. [There’s a difference] being a fighter, being able to fight, and taking the fighting to the world. To all the people. And that’s what it is. He’s an artist.”
Latifi filled in for the injured Alexander Gustafsson on very short notice against Gerard Mousasi when he debuted in Stockholm. That was the same card that McGregor debuted against Marcus Brimage, and began taking the UFC by storm. Since that time both fighters have emerged as commodities in the UFC, with Latifi recovering from the Mousasi loss to win five of his last six fights, and McGregor transcending the sport of MMA and becoming a superstar.
McGregor suffered his first loss in the UFC against Nate Diaz at UFC 196, a fight ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting