Conor McGregor on Conflict with Bantamweight Champion: “I’ve Motivated Him”

"I've motivated him," says McGregor.

Conor McGregor has addressed the recent conflict with UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley. The situation began when McGregor criticized boxer Ryan Garcia for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), calling for a lifetime ban. McGregor then pointed out that O’Malley had tested positive for the same substance in 2019 and received only a six-month suspension. This sparked a response from O’Malley, who accused McGregor of being jealous of his rising stardom and expressed willingness to fight him.

Respect and Past Advice

Despite the exchange, McGregor insists there’s no bad blood between him and O’Malley. In a Duel Bits livestream, McGregor explained his stance:

– I like Sean O’Malley, I really do. I saw the Garcia situation and it reminded me of Sean’s case, so he got involved that way. He said he could beat me, not in his wildest dreams, but I still like Sean.

McGregor also mentioned that he had given O’Malley career advice in the past:

– I met him at a football stadium, and he was influenced by a boxing approach, choosing his own fights. I asked him if he was the best, a world champion, because if you are, you should fight anyone, anytime. Since then, he fought Petr Yan, Marlon Vera, and Aljamain Sterling. He did it, so I was pleased. O’Malley has been nice to me, and I know I’ve motivated him and his career. I’ve done that with many people.



O’Malley’s Aspirations

O’Malley, meanwhile, has been vocal about his ambitions to reach McGregor’s level of fame. In an interview with ESPN, he stated:

– I think the UFC did a good job placing me in certain fights, but it was a lot of knockouts. The narrative was I never fight the toughest guys. Then in 2022, I fought Petr Yan, who was ranked number one, and then the greatest bantamweight of all time, Aljo [Sterling]. My last two fights took that narrative away. I’ve always accepted the fights they offered?.

O’Malley aims to continue his rise by defending his title against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC 299, seeking revenge for his only career loss:

– I was whooping his ass. He got lucky. That’s how I’ve felt ever since that fight happened. But it worked out good. Here we are. I’m defending my title. There’s a story behind it, and it makes it that much bigger??.

O’Malley’s confidence is bolstered by his recent successes, and he envisions himself achieving McGregor’s level of stardom, if not surpassing it.

Final Thoughts

While the verbal jabs continue, it’s clear both fighters hold a mutual respect. McGregor’s influence on O’Malley is evident, and O’Malley’s drive to become the next big star in MMA mirrors McGregor’s own rise. Whether this will culminate in a future showdown remains to be seen, but for now, both athletes continue to dominate headlines in their respective ways? (Combat Sports UK)?? (MiddleEasy)?.


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