You either hate him or love him, but Conor McGregor is always at the front of everything that’s happening in the combat sports sphere. The Irishman has achieved unprecedented success inside the cage, but is recently on a rough ride, having just one victory in the last five years. And the ordeal is also outside the Octagon, as arrests, assaults, and sexual assault allegations have also dented McGregor’s image. However, its none other than his compatriot and the reigning undisputed female lightweight boxing champion of the world Katie Taylor, who has spoken up in support of McGregor.
I don’t think Conor McGregor is celebrated as much as he should be here in Ireland: Katie Taylor
Despite his back-to-back losses against Dustin Poirier earlier this year, added with the controversial statements that have had fingers pointing at him, Conor McGregor is the name that has built the fame of the UFC, as well as proudly donning his Irish nationality on the international stage.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Taylor opened up about his appraisal of McGregor, calling him the “Muhammad Ali” of the UFC, as well as saying that he should be celebrated more in Ireland for his achievements.
“I messaged [McGregor] after the Dustin Poirier fight, just to offer some words of encouragement really,” Taylor said, “He’s always been a fantastic support to me, but I think he’s just someone who’s actually transcended the sport. He’s like, for me, the Muhammad Ali of the UFC. He’s just a fantastic athlete. A great businessman as well. But what he’s done in the sport and the UFC has been absolutely incredible, and I don’t think he’s celebrated as much as he should be here in Ireland. I think he is an absolute global superstar and just a phenomenal athlete, and he’s always been a complete gentleman toward me.”
“I know that he’s trained at Crumlin Boxing Club an awful lot, a place where I actually trained on a regular occasion as an amateur boxer as well,” the boxer went on, “I used to go there on a regular occasion for sparring sessions, so that’s obviously a connection that we have.”
“But I’m looking at him as just a phenomenal athlete, and someone who I generally think has transcended the sport, someone who’s become bigger than the sport. Nearly every time he does fight, it’s an absolute huge event. He still gets the highest number of pay-per-view figures and he’s still the highest-paid athlete in the UFC. I just look at him as just an outstanding athlete, and I can’t wait to see him come back,” Taylor added. [H/T BJPenn.com]
Regarded as one of the best female boxers of all time, Katie Taylor currently holds the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO lightweight titles. The undefeated 35-year-old was most recently seen in action against Firuza Sharipova on 11th December, when Taylor defended her belts via unanimous decision.
- Undisputed female lightweight champion Katie Taylor sheds praise on fellow Irish star Conor McGregor, calling him the “Muhammad Ali of UFC”
- Taylor says McGregor needs to be celebrated more in Ireland for his achievements
Do you agree with Katie Taylor’s comments on Conor McGregor? Let us know in the comments.