Oscar-winning actor Liam Neeson is not a fan of mixed martial arts and believes one of its biggest stars, Conor McGregor, is giving Ireland a bad name.
McGregor became one of the biggest names in the industry following his iconic 13-second knockout of featherweight great Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in 2015. Throughout his career, McGregor proudly represented his home country with the Irish flag regularly draped around him, but not everyone is a fan of the attention he brings to an otherwise proud nation.
In a recent interview with Men’s Health, Liam Neeson candidly revealed that he has contempt for McGregor and the perceived negative attention he brings to the homeland they share.
“That little leprechaun Conor McGregor, he gives Ireland a bad name,” Neeson said. “I know he’s fit, and I admire him for that. But I can’t take it.”
Liam Neeson ‘Can’t Stand’ the UFC
Despite being the quintessential Hollywood tough guy with a particular set of skills, Liam Neeson is not a fan of the UFC in general, calling it nothing more than a “bar fight.”
“UFC I can’t stand,” Neeson revealed. “That to me is like a bar fight. I know the practitioners are like, ‘no, you’re wrong—the months of training we do.’ Why don’t you just grab a beer bottle and hit the other guy over the head?”
Neeson has been a Hollywood standout for decades, earning an Academy Award for his performance in the 1993 Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List. Since then, The Brit has established himself as a veritable badass on film. In 2008 he delivered perhaps his most iconic role in the action film Taken. The film spawned two sequels and a slew of knockoffs that weren’t quite as good, but Neeson occasionally delivers a hidden gem, such as the 2011 flick The Grey.
On the other side of the entertainment spectrum, Conor McGregor continues to work toward a return to the Octagon. ‘The Notorious’ is expected to be back in action sometime in 2023. Recently, McGregor had the MMA community buzzing after he expressed interest in coaching an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. With McGregor still facing six months of USADA testing before being cleared for competition, a turn on TUF could be the perfect opportunity to put the former two-division champion in the spotlight as he goes through the process.