You don’t have to know who Conor McGregor is to recognize his trash talk artistry. Along with Holly Holms, the Irishman is one of the rising stars of the UFC and has garnered a reputation for his Mayweather-esque trolling (but more exciting fighting style). How big of a shit talker is McGregor exactly? His last press conference will give you a rough idea.
“I’m speaking Spanish, I’m dressed as El Chapo in his prime, [and] I’m up here and I can do whatever I want,” said McGregor, wearing a shirt very similar to the one El Chapo wore in his interview with Sean Penn. To make it all more theatrical, he posed just like the Mexican drug lord did for the photograph with the American actor.
McGregor is the current Featherweight UFC champion, and his upcoming March 5 fight against Brazilian athlete Rafael Dos Anjos will be for the Lightweight UFC title. If McGregor wins, he will be the first fighter in history two hold two weight class titles simultaneously.
The whole El Chapo situation evinces the reach of the Mexican drug lord, but at the end of the day, it’s just part of McGregor’s tactics. Many believe his trolling destroys the confidence of his rivals. Take his last fight – where he won his title – as an example; after months of hearing McGregor’s insults, he finally met inside the octagon with Brazilian fighter José Aldo, a man who had not lost in 11 years (yes, 11) and knocked him out in 13 seconds (yes, 13).
So on March 5, the MMA world will have its eyes on the Irish Chapo (who is the underdog, according to the betting odds), to see if he can too escape the cage, this time not through an underground tunnel, but high on the shoulders of his team with a golden belt in his hands.