Kickboxing star Joe Schilling believes there's some truth in the steroid accusation levelled at Conor McGregor
What seemed like a throwaway piece of trash-talk is unnervingly gathering momentum.
One of the main takeaways from the UFC 196 press conference on Wednesday was Nate Diaz's allegation that Conor McGregor was a steroid user.
McGregor reacted furiously to the accusation and Dana White moved quickly to rubbish it but there are certain parties who believe that there is some truth to the rumours.
One such party is GLORY kickboxer Joe Schilling who is a close friend of the Diaz brothers.
And in an interview with Bloody Elbow, Schilling hinted that he believed there was more to the claims than a mere attempt to get under McGregor's skin.
Do not accuse Conor McGregor of taking steroids. pic.twitter.com/COZTyWCrCU
— Darragh Murphy (@DarrMurphy) February 24, 2016
"I think Nate is in his head already," Schilling said. "Did you see how flustered he was when Nate threw that in about steroids? Ha!"
The interviewer, John Joe O'Regan, suggested that the claims had come out of nowhere but those suggestions were rejected by Schilling, who defeated Mike Lemaire by unanimous decision at GLORY 27 on Friday night.
"Coming from nowhere? Dude it didn't come from nowhere. Look at him, he's put on about seventy pounds. Very interesting.
"His arms are f--king huge, look at him. But even if it did come out of nowhere it's still good because Conor is used to getting in everybody's head and Nate was like 'nah, f--k you!'"
Diaz is a short notice replacement for Rafael dos Anjos, who withdrew from his lightweight title defence due to a fractured foot, and Schilling is in no doubt about who he believes will win the welterweight headliner of UFC 196.
"I will be putting money on Nate," Schilling continued. "I think what Nate's weaknesses are, Conor is not good at. I think it's a great fight for Nate. His size is too much for Conor and I think that Conor's knockout power has a lot to do with him fighting smaller people. I think knocking out a 145er is a lot different to knocking out a guy who walks around at 185lbs and who has never been knocked out before with punches.
"On the ground Nate submits him quickly and easily and standing, his speed and the way he punches, the volume as well, he will pick him apart. Power-wise, I think Nate hits harder than Conor has ever been hit. I will be placing a large amount of money on Nate. I think it's a great payday for Nate and it will be for me as well.
"Nate Diaz trains for fun. He might put on weight between fights but he runs five or six miles regularly, four or five days a week, he does sports for fun, constantly in the gym, constantly training and sparring. Is he in full fight-camp shape? No, but he is far from going to gas out in the first round believe me."