UFC superstar Conor McGregor is not taking Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s comments on his rise to fame lightly.
After he knocked out former featherweight champion Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December, McGregor’s fame catapulted tremendously. Mayweather—in trademark fashion—then loosely pinned McGregor’s ascent to the fact that he’s white in an interview with FightHype.com (h/t Ryan McKinnell of Yahoo Sports).
"They say he talks a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I'm cocky and arrogant," Mayweather said. "So biased! Like I said before, all I'm saying is this: I ain't racist at all, but I'm telling you racism still exists."
McGregor responded Friday in a lengthy post via Instagram:
Floyd Mayweather, don't ever bring race into my success again. I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood.
In my family's long history of warfare there was a time where just having the name 'McGregor' was punishable by death. Do not ever put me in a bracket like this again.
If you want we can organise a fight no problem. I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favour seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue.
Here is the full post, which also includes commentary on appreciating the media coverage that has helped the UFC become arguably more mainstream than boxing:
This isn’t Mayweather’s first run-in with a UFC star. The retired undefeated world champ jawed with Ronda Rousey in July after she took home the 2015 ESPY Award for Best Fighter, an award Mayweather was also nominated for.
Prior to the event, when asked about Rousey, Mayweather said, “I don’t even know who he is,” per David Greisman of BoxingScene.com:
Rousey responded with a jab at Mayweather’s well-chronicled history of domestic violence.
Mayweather has never shied from controversy—in and away from the ring—and his comments toward McGregor are another mark in a slew of attention-seeking sideshows.