CONOR McGregor’s ex-sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi has ripped into the “arrogant” UFC superstar, as one of his inner circle gave an intriguing insight into the Irishman’s ego.
Malignaggi, a former two-weight boxing world champion, made an explosive exit from McGregor’s camp after feeling wronged in the portrayal of their sparring sessions – in particular, a photograph that suggested ‘The Notorious’ had knocked him down.
“My problem with Conor is his arrogance,” Malignaggi said in his latest broadside, delivered on Fox 5’s Sports Xtra, as time ticks down to McGregor’s August 27 (AEST) fight against unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
“His arrogance is to the point where he can’t progress. He can’t learn. He just wants a bunch of yes men around him.
“He doesn’t want to be told that he’s doing something wrong. He doesn’t want to be told that he needs to make progress, so that he needs to change certain things.
“Whatever he’s doing, he just wants to be told how great he’s doing.”
Baby Connor’s video session
A major feature on McGregor – Wright Thompson’s cover story for ESPN The Magazine, which delves into the Irishman’s rough upbringing in working-class inner-city Dublin – provides a telling insight along those lines from one of his inner circle.
McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy suggests that for all his bravado and famed mental strength, the megastar also has a fragile element to his ego.
That reflection was prefaced with an anecdote about McGregor selling tickets to one of his early MMA shows on behalf of coach John Kavanagh, before spending the money himself – “in essence stealing it from his coach. Instead of facing the consequences, McGregor ghosted Kavanagh, ashamed and barely getting out of bed. When he did, Crumlin started to pull him back in. All those years of avoiding trouble hung in the balance. His mother begged Kavanagh for a second chance. The coach said yes.
“Kavanagh understood McGregor and the quicksands of Dublin. Kavanagh is the son of a construction worker. And in his coach, McGregor found things missing in himself: a calming presence, a man who knew how to marshal his talents while minimising his limitations.
“McGregor, for all his bravado, can be fragile. Norman Mailer wrote about approaching Ali’s psyche like you’d approach a squirrel. That’s true for Conor too. ‘You got to be very cautious what you say around Conor,’ says striking coach Owen Roddy.”
Source : foxsports.com.au