In the immediate aftermath of the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing match, UFC lightweight champion McGregor credited referee Robert Byrd for his professionalism.
Having had time to reflect and review the video footage, however, ‘The Notorious’ has had a change of heart.
Byrd, a Hall of Fame boxing referee, is married to Adalaide Bird, the judge who was suspended for her controversial scoring of the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez fight last month.
“Adalaide Byrd’s husband Robert Byrd, that’s all I’ll say on that,” McGregor told UFC reporter Caroline Pearce in a recent interview in Glasgow (h/t Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting). “That’s her husband.”
McGregor, 29, was disappointed with the way Byrd handled the staredown and said that, during the fight, the referee was trying to wrestle him off Mayweather in the clinch.
“When we came face to face and we were doing the rules thing, he was only staring at me,” McGregor said. “I’m looking at him staring at me and I could see in my peripheral vision that he was looking at me and not looking at Floyd.
“I was going to say, ‘He’s fighting as well, mate. Give him the f**king rules. I don’t know, what was going on there?
“Every time we tied he literally wrestled me off him. It is what it is, I knew I wasn’t going to get a fair shake out there.”
McGregor, who was stopped in the 10th round after being battered against the ropes, still contests that it was an early stoppage.
“I thought it was an early stoppage. How the f**k can you stop a fight if there were no knockdowns or nothing previous?” he asked.
“The round before that I almost had him dropped. I hurt him to the body in the round before. How the f**k can you stop it like that at the first sign of a wobble? You’ve got to let these fights go on.”
Check out the full transcript of the interview here.
McGregor has promised to return to the UFC to defend his lightweight title and ‘legitimize’ the rankings.