UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor aimed barbs at Frankie Edgar and Nate Diaz in his pre-recorded acceptance speech at the MMA Awards, it has emerged.
Aaron Flanagan of the Mirror relays the quotes after McGregor accepted the 2015 Fighter of the Year gong, and the Irishman wasted little time in putting down his fellow fighters. He said:
The who’s who of MMA I’m sure is there in their badly fitted suits, having a penny in their pocket.
I heard Nate Diaz couldn’t even afford to fly over to Las Vegas for the ceremony.
Frankie Edgar... I heard he’s dressed like a little Sheikh servant or something struggling to make a few quid.
Hard work pays so take notes. Stop holding bitterness deep in your bum soul.
Stuck on 20,000 to show and 20,000 to fight. I wipe my ass with that money. I tip your wage in a year.
McGregor recorded the message as he was not able to attend the ceremony, although as Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting noted, it was not shown to those there. The full speech can be seen here:
Notorious is currently preparing to face Rafael dos Anjos after moving up to lightweight.
The 27-year-old has shared his preparation for the bout with Dos Anjos on March 5 at UFC 196, both in and out of the Octagon, via Instagram:
His coach, John Kavanagh, wrote in his column for Irish outlet The 42 that McGregor could decide to move up yet another weight class to welterweight after conquering the lightweight division:
It’s not something we have discussed specifically but after Conor wins the lightweight belt, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the next fight is for the welterweight belt.
If that’s what Conor wants to do, I’ll absolutely support that move. I think that would be fantastic. We’re already talking about making history in a few weeks, but can you imagine what it will be like if Conor is the champion in three weight classes by the summer?
As time goes on, it’s harder to predict what will happen in the future. Conor has a sort of unusual body type in that even though he can make featherweight, he’s still a very big lightweight. Given some time, as well as a bit of strength and conditioning work, he could also be a force at welterweight. This is an interesting time.
After calling out the likes of Diaz and Edgar so vociferously, McGregor may well find himself facing one or both of them in the near future following his clash with Dos Anjos.
Of the pair, Edgar seems the most likely opponent of the two owing to his five-fight winning streak and more prolific record in recent years, though he would likely require a drop back to featherweight for the Irishman, which could interfere with his possible ambitions of conquering three separate weight classes.