If you asked the current crop of Russian fighters, they'd inform you that trash talking was not a particularly popular tactic for fighters to apply ahead of a clash. It was looked down upon by fighters, and frowned upon by society in general. Recently, however, combatants like Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov shifted opinions on trash talk slightly, at least for MMA fans.
According to Ruslan Magomedov, McGregor is particularly popular in Russia because he actually followed through on his predictions and bizarre claims.
"It was Conor McGregor who originated this latest style of trashtalking," Magomedov told Russian reporter Olga Hasky. "I tried to follow Fedor Emelianenko in this respect: the image of a man who entered the ring with a straight face and no emotions. You show everything you've got in the cage. But McGregor is so popular because he walks the walk."
Magomedov is even convinced that McGregor's barrage of verbal abuse took its toll on Aldo and hindered his overall performance.
"For a year, McGregor talked at Aldo and we though that this trashtalking thing hardly meant anything. Then to our surprise, his performance was worse than ever. It probably had its impact. Aldo is a very strong fighter, but he had lost the fight before it began."
Check out the interview above, which has been dubbed in English from Russian.