Conor McGregor has always been known and either loved or hated for his brash, trash-talking persona. However, as we get ready for UFC 246, we are seeing a “new” McGregor. He hasn’t taken any verbal jabs on Twitter, he’s been happy while dealing with the media, he has seemed different. This was most apparent at the UFC 246 pre-fight press conference.
In the past, McGregor’s press conferences have been just as exciting as the fight. Whether it was against Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, or Eddie Alvarez, McGregor’s trash talk was always something to look forward to.
We got none of that in this press conference. McGregor shook his opponent, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s hand at the start, and never really talked any smack. He gave “Cowboy” respect and at one point out of nowhere complimented the jacket that he was wearing. The reaction to this McGregor was mixed. Some loved it, some hated it.
Personally? I think it was necessary. Whether you are a fan of McGregor or not, there is no denying that the Khabib Nurmagomedov rivalry went too far. That press conference was uncomfortable. McGregor’s image had been so tainted, I think we needed this. We needed him to show his respectful side again. As fun as the trash talk is, It was a nice change of pace.
It is almost like he’s starting over. If you remember when he started in the UFC he was this respectful. 2018 to 2019 was so bad for McGregor personally and professionally, I think he needed a reset in a sense. On top of the respectfulness, there is this focus and clear-mindedness that has been apparent over the past week or so. This is a mix of the “old” Conor McGregor and a new McGregor that is very interesting.
Will it make a difference in the Octagon? We will find out on Saturday night.