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Zubaira Tukhugov: If Conor McGregor were from the Caucasus, he would have been hated

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Chechen featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov explains why Conor McGregor’s brash style would have made him a hated man in the Caucasus.

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Conor McGregor's meteoric rise to stardom in the UFC was arguably due to his fan-friendly fighting style and his brash approach to selling a fight. Not afraid to ruffle a few feathers as he paves his path to a coveted title shot, that approach appears to have worked, as the Irishman is set to face Chad Mendes at UFC 189 to determine the interim featherweight champion.

However, there are some who believe McGregor's style has only hindered his ability to connect with a wider audience. Fellow featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov believes that is the case in the North Caucasus, where trash talking and arrogant behavior are considered to be negative traits for a human to possess.

"In the Caucasus, trash talking is not welcome," Tukhugov said in a Q&A session on VK. "It is like pouring dirt, humiliation on rivals. Fighting is in our blood, so I'm not sure that this is a problem. It's a feature."

According to the Tukhugov, who is 2-0 in the Octagon so far, McGregor would have been a hated man had he been born in the Caucasus and still maintained his arrogant demeanor. The Irishman may have still worked his way towards a title shot, but it would have come at the expense of his dignity and honour in Republics like Chechnya and Dagestan.

"If McGregor was a Caucasian, he would have been hated. Nobody would not have honored or respected him. Yes, he made ​​the fight for the title, but at what cost?  It will be the children, his parents, who look at him. This, I believe, is not manly, so behave."

Interestingly enough, Tukhugov made no mention of top lightweight competitor Khabib Nurmagomedov, who recently developed a taste for trash talking and directed his efforts mainly at former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.