Last month, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor sat down with Caroline Pearce in front of a packed house at the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow for his first really in-depth interview post-MayMac.
Reports from various MMA media outlets have since revealed many of the most significant quotes from the interview, but on Friday the event’s promoters released McGregor’s entire hour-long chat with Pearce to YouTube.
On August 26th, McGregor made his professional boxing debut against the 49-0 former pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Junior. The Irishman predictably succumbed to a stoppage defeat, but not before entering a far more competitive showing than had been forecast by most knowledgeable observers and lasting into the tenth round. This fight, which resulted in the biggest payday of McGregor’s combat sports career, was obviously a major talking point during the interview.
Most noteworthy within this context was the fact that McGregor kept returning to the topic of referee Robert Byrd and his handling of the contest throughout the conversation.
“Even when Robert Byrd came into the changing room to give me the rules, I was looking to engage and he wouldn’t even look at me,” said McGregor. “He was like, ‘Who’s your head coach?’”
“The first thing he said was, ‘Look, I’m not here to wrestle and grapple with you guys.’ I just kept my mouth quiet because the fight was 20 minutes away. Out he walks. I just went over to John [Kavanagh] and was like, ‘Why is he after saying [that]? Why is he even talking like that? I’m here as a boxer tonight.’
“I’m after giving this rule-set so much respect and so much time to study these rules and learn these rules. And straight off the bat he is giving me that kind of energy. And then he did fucking wrestle and grapple me. Anytime we got tied up he grabbed me by the head and… he threw me half way across the ring in that ninth round.”
“All these things start playing on my mind and I start watching [the fight] back under a different lens and start thinking I got the hard end of the stick,” added ‘The Notorious’ one.
Interestingly, many in the boxing community were also critical of Byrd, but they argued that he had been too lenient towards McGregor and allowed the MMA star to get away with frequent rabbit punches.
McGregor also chatted with Pearce about his future options, his time in Ibiza after the Mayweather fight and more, all while enjoying some vitamin C-packed vodka and orange juice.
You can watch ‘An Evening with Conor McGregor’ below…