Conor McGregor’s spite-filled post-fight interview with Joe Rogan at UFC 264 should not have been allowed to happen, according to the Irishman’s friend and training partner Artem Lobov, who described it as a “mad situation.”
Propped up against the cage and receiving medical treatment after snapping his lower left leg, McGregor vented at rival Dustin Poirier after the American was declared the winner of the pair’s trilogy bout via doctor’s stoppage TKO.
McGregor’s invective-laden rant into the microphone held by UFC pundit Rogan included insults directed at Poirier’s wife Jolie, whom ‘The Notorious’ tauntingly invited to his afterparty.
Poirier labeled McGregor a “dirtbag” in his post-fight comments, while his wife gave the beaten former two-weight champion the middle finger from the centre of the octagon.
McGregor’s Russian-born pal Lobov – a fan favorite from his own UFC days – suggested the interview should never have happened.
“It was a mad situation,” Lobov told MMA Fighting, making a contrast with the scenes when fighters such as Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman suffered similar gruesome leg breaks in the octagon.
“I mean, look at the way Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman were after his injury happened… [McGregor] was still sitting up and I do think interviews shouldn’t even happen in that scenario. I’m surprised that it did happen. It shouldn’t have happened, but it is what it is in a way.”
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Lobov said he was upset to see McGregor suffer such a hideous end to his night when he fractured his tibia and fibula at the end of the first round at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Nobody wants to see that kind of stuff happen to a close friend,” said Lobov, who has forged a career in bare-knuckle boxing since his departure from the UFC.
“I’ll be honest with you, I hate looking at them even when it’s somebody that I don’t know. When it happened to Chris Weidman and some of the kickboxers I’ve seen, it’s horrible.
“I just try and change the channel and can’t look at it, it’s just horrible. Because I understand I have to go in there one day as well and this could happen to me also.
“For those reasons, I don’t really like looking at it and that was all multiplied a thousand times when you see it happen to a close friend of yours.”
McGregor underwent successful surgery the day after the injury and is set to be on the sidelines until 2022. The Irish-based Lobov said people should be more respectful when fighters experience ugly injuries in the course of their craft.
“It was very unfortunate, but what can you do, this is the fight game, this is as real as it gets and maybe that shows the world that look, this isn’t just a game. This is not playing. This is people’s health and lives at stake here, so maybe have a little more respect for the fighters,” said ‘The Russian Hammer’.
Despite the setback for McGregor’s hopes of recapturing his former glories, Lobov still backed his friend to bounce back.
“It’s going to be a slow process, but I remember when Conor came back from his ACL injury, he’s done that twice, he did it better than anyone before him. I have no doubt it’s going to be the same result this time,” Lobov said.
Lobov himself is preparing for a return to action this weekend when he meets Ukrainian Olympic silver medalist boxer Denys Berinchyk in a bare-knuckle contest in Kiev.
McGregor, meanwhile, has betrayed little sign of his injury dampening his spirits. Earlier this week, the 33-year-old megastar proudly announced that his $3.5 million custom-made Lamborghini yacht was ready for use.
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On Thursday, McGregor posted poolside images of himself on social media on sipping drinks in the sunshine and with his leg in a large cast.
“I wipe my rich ass with your feelings about my work. I feel nothing for you bums. Nada!” McGregor had written previously.