Commentator hints at backstage issue for Conor McGregor before UFC 229
Jon Anik was vague on the details but hinted at a problem for Conor McGregor before he made his walk to the Octagon on Saturday night.
McGregor was submitted in the fourth round of the main event of UFC 229 after being dominated for large stages of the lightweight title fight by defending champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
To this viewer's eyes, McGregor looked his confident self when he strolled to the Octagon for the first time in almost two years and broke out his trademark strut as he arrived.
But Anik, who was sat front and centre for the entire UFC 229 card, has suggested that something wasn't right for 'The Notorious'.
Speaking on the Anik and Florian podcast, the commentator said:
"Say what you want about his actions after the fight but everything up until he finished Conor McGregor, in my opinion, from Thursday September 20 - which was the first face-off in New York City - to Herb Dean pulling him off of Conor, Khabib handled himself brilliantly.
"He just dismissed that narrative and then some. He made me feel like I wasted a whole lot of hot air talking about how he would handle that moment and on the other side, I thought Conor looked great all week.
"But all of a sudden on fight night, it seemed like his colour was gone, his confidence didn't seem there, the smile wasn't there, there were maybe some rumblings about some things or some circumstances backstage but Khabib handled the fight part of this with flying colours and proved that he probably is the most dominant force in the game, as advertised."
At no point in the show did Anik expand on what he'd heard about McGregor's warm-up but he did refer to it again moments later when he began asking co-host Kenny Florian for his opinion on the bout.
He asked: "I know you picked Conor McGregor and I know maybe if you had been able to make the pick right as the fight was beginning... you didn't necessarily love the visual out of Conor McGregor and some things that maybe we were hearing but overall thoughts on what we saw in terms of the action?"
Anik has since given some insight to curious fans via Twitter.
No not injured. I was just told it was unnecessarily chaotic back there, lot of people coming in and out of the locker room. He also got wrapped by a cutman who hadn’t wrapped him before supposedly, which, while no big deal, still deviated from his norm. That’s all.
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) October 10, 2018
You can listen to the entire Anik and Florian podcast here.