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09th Apr 2015

UFC 1 vet and BJJ legend Royce Gracie claims to have “lost respect” for Conor McGregor

The hall of famer is not a fan of the Dubliner

Darragh Murphy

Say what you will about Conor McGregor but he’s certainly not flying under the radar.

The fight-hyping high jinks of The Notorious has divided opinion among the entire MMA community with some loving his brash trash-talk and others condemning his behaviour as disrespectful.

One man who falls into the latter category is Royce Gracie, a former UFC fighter who is largely considered the competitor on whom modern mixed martial arts was founded.

The Brazilian has spoken out about McGregor’s antics on the recent UFC 189 world media tour and revealed that the Irishman has gone down in his estimation.

“He’s the most talented, the best, the guy right now, but the way he’s talking now he’s fallen in my eyes. I don’t like it. I lost my respect for him,” Gracie told Brazilian MMA media outlet Combate.

The UFC 1, 2 and 4 tournament winner claims that he much prefers Aldo’s more reserved pre-fight behaviour.

“Aldo is playing the right game, staying quiet. McGregor is taking Muhammad Ali’s model. He can say whatever he wants but he’s got to prove it. If he doesn’t prove it, his career is going to be short. He’s good, but he didn’t really need to talk all that. Aldo is playing the right game and he’ll prove it in the ring. McGregor is just disrespecting. Guys forget sometimes and lose respect—there’s no need for that,” Gracie explained.

And when it comes time for the talking to stop and the cage door closes, Gracie is under no illusions as to who will leave with the UFC featherweight title.

“McGregor is good, I like the guy, but he’s fallen a lot in my eyes after the media tour. The other guy (Aldo) is an animal, he’s tough, he’s been champion for years, he doesn’t lose because of this, he knows what he’s doing. Conor is new,” Gracie said.

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