After a somewhat underwhelming showing from Conor McGregor at the debut MayMac press conference in Los Angeles, California, The Irishman stepped up his game tenfold at The Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Canada yesterday.
As well as targeting his opponent Floyd Mayweather, who he will challenge in a 12-round boxing match on August 26, ‘The Notorious’ laid into Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza, calling the media personality a ‘f-cking weasel’ for allegedly cutting his mic off at the Los Angeles presser.
Espinoza claims that McGregor’s mic cut out due to a technical fault, and the Showtime vice president was surprised by the Irishman’s vitriolic rant on Wednesday.
“I’m not sure whether it’s part of the show,” Espinoza told MMA Fighting after the media conference. “I’m not sure how much is a put on. It seemed more than that. It certainly wasn’t a wink and a nod. And it wasn’t backstage saying, ‘Hey, I’m doing it for the good of the show.’ The reality is you see what some athletes — whether combat sports or otherwise — the need to invent enemies and invent opponents to motivate. He’s obviously got that in Floyd. If this is part of his process of imagining the world against him and motivating himself, then that’s his his process.
“I’m a big boy. It’s certainly not somebody that has come after me as a network. It did take me a little bit by surprise, but it’s part of the entertainment value of the McGregor business.”
Despite McGregor blasting Showtime on a live broadcast, Espinoza has no plans to caution the UFC lightweight champion and will not be having words with him backstage.
“I don’t think so,” Espinoza said. “He’s a grown adult, I’m a grown adult. If that’s the way he wants to conduct himself, we as the network or me personally are not gonna change it. It’s one of the things that you appreciate Floyd for. Floyd certainly has his flaws like we all do, but there’s always been a sense of professionalism in everything he’s done. That isn’t always the case with some of his opponents.”
Asked if McGregor’s antics were unprofessional, Espinoza said he’d ‘sleep on it’.
“I’d like to sleep on it, but it took me by surprise,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m a big boy and I still got two more opportunities to respond if I need to.”
Day three of the MayMac world tour continues today, July 13, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The media frenzy kicks off at 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT.