Conor McGregor always knows how to inject himself into the limelight, even if it’s someone else’s fight.
The lightweight champion was cageside for his teammate Artem Lobov’s fight with Andre Fili over the weekend and made such a scene that the referee had to stop the fight to admonish the Irishman.
Fili gave his thoughts to MMAFighting.com on McGregor’s antics in Poland, from his interactions with him at the card to his highly-publicized use of a homophobic slur:
“There’s no need to use words like that. You don’t need to demean other people to make yourself seem bigger. Whenever you hear someone use that word or call someone a ‘bitch,’ that makes you look so insecure.”
“That fired me right up. He tried to stare me down and I locked eyes with him and did not back down. He started quoting Notorious B.I.G. lyrics and I just laughed. I was just like ‘not tonight, motherf*cker.’ That’s why I did his ‘billionaire strut’ and everything.”
“There’s nothing like kicking someone’s ass with their best friend watching on in their corner. Conor did me a big favor. I was already ready to go but he made me turn it up another level.”
Fili contends that McGregor was fake with him, saying the two exchanged cordial words following the fight, only to hear minutes later that McGregor was calling him homophobic slurs backstage.
“I told him it was all about the fight, what happened in the fight stayed there, and that I respected him,” Fili said. “I thought we were cool. I meant it, too. I know having Conor in the middle of my fight means I get way more attention, I have more Twitter and Instagram followers now and I’ll make more money. I know what he’s done to lift the sport.
“But then, while I’m doing my interview, unbeknownst to me, he’s in the back calling me that word, while I’m in the cage doing my interview,” Fili said. “Then when I’m in back getting my medicals done, Conor walks up to me and he shakes my hand and tells me he respects me and that we had a bond because of The Ultimate Fighter (the season in which Fili was an assistant coach for Urijah Faber against McGregor’s team) and I told him I respected him.”
McGregor has been widely criticized for using such terms, as he has already been caught saying similar pejoratives in the past.
For Fili’s part, the young Team Alpha Male product says McGregor’s act is not all that it seems.
“Don’t be fake with me,” Fili said. “I’m as real a person as you’re going to meet. You’re always going to know where you stand with me. For him to say what he said and then turn right around and act like we’re cool, that’s so fake.”