Saul Rogers explains to SportsJOE that he wasn't too bothered about McGregor's training absences 4 years ago

Saul Rogers explains to SportsJOE that he wasn't too bothered about McGregor's training absences

20-16, 20-17, 20-17... that's a pretty dominant victory.

Saul Rogers absolutely ran through Billy Quarantillo to bring Team Europe to 2-2 on The Ultimate Fighter 22 and we got the chance to speak to the British lightweight in the wake of his victory.

"Billy's tough and stuff and I didn't think it was going to be as one-sided to be honest," Rogers said.

"It pretty much went the way I expected it to other than that. I would have loved to have gotten the finish and, watching it back, I don't know how I didn't. But it was a typical fight from me. I open up with some striking, look for the takedown and pursue a submission. That's usually the plan."

Bolton's Rogers was the first fighter chosen by Conor McGregor when The Notorious gained control of the fight picks and while some may criticise McGregor's training schedule (he only attends half the practices), Rogers wasn't bothered by it.

"It didn't make me think less of McGregor at all," Rogers revealed. "He's a busy guy. He didn't sugarcoat things either which helped. He came in at the start and told us that he wasn't there to coach. McGregor was there to get the numbers up and he's done just that.

"He could have come to no training sessions and I wouldn't have minded or have been bitter. I don't need anybody to hold my hand at this stage.

"He was doing his thing and I was doing mine, simple as that."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEdlzbWjFR4

He may not have had much interaction with the UFC interim featherweight champion but Rogers claims that he's taken huge inspiration from McGregor and other pioneering European fighters.

"Seeing what guys like McGregor have done in the last five years obviously motivated me," he said.

"Just a few years ago we were fighting on the same shows and now he's taking on the best of the best in the UFC.

"It's the same way that I felt seeing Michael Bisping and Ross Pearson do so well when they came through The Ultimate Fighter. It's nice to see European fighters succeed and it's always going to make you strive to achieve something similar.

"European guys are going to flood the UFC in the coming years. It's going at a crazy rate in Britain and Ireland alone. I'm just happy to be part of the explosion."

The Ultimate Fighter is on BT Sport (part of the Setanta pack in Ireland) every Thursday at 3am (repeated at 10pm on Thursdays).