While many are rightfully not pleased with what Conor McGregor did during the UFC 223 media day, there were still those who came to his defense. Some of them are even prominent figures of the sport, such as UFC Hall-of-Famer Bas Rutten.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Rutten explained how McGregor could have easily fallen into the trappings of fame and massive success that he is currently enjoying, and at a young age.
“We are not in Conor McGregor’s shoes. You know? People can shout what they want, they have no clue what goes on,” Rutten said. “I think once people realize that you have 50 million dollars – he gets mail all day long from people with sick babies and sick kids and my grandma and everybody wants him to give money and so on.”
“I mean, he doesn’t only have money, he is super famous on top of that. I know the stupid stuff I did when I was 28 – I didn’t do that, okay, but you know, he has a group around him and he was already angry going in because they wanted to strip him of the title and he’s angry and now the partner, his friends, start saying, ‘hey, maybe we should throw something against them’. Like, ‘yeah,’ everybody starts agreeing. Yeah, you get caught up in the whole moment and you start doing it.”
Because of this particular reason, Rutten believes “The Notorious” should be given a pass for his actions, especially because of what he has done for the sport of mixed martial arts as a whole.
“That’s why I said when I was with Joe Rogan, I said, guys, we should give him a pass. And people online, they were like, is he crazy? I’m not saying that (you excuse everything),” Rutten explained. “I’m saying, yes, he’s going to have to pay for what he did, he goes to court, he has to do all that. I’m not saying that (he doesn’t do those things). Of course, he has to – and I said that on Joe Rogan as well – but give him a pass as a fan. Don’t kick the guy while he’s down. Don’t throw him under the bus. He did so much good for MMA. He just needs to find his way in this world.”
“I hope they just … give him a pass, don’t spit him out yet,” he added. “Let him see if he cleans up. I mean, you give Jon Jones a lot of passes. And me too, I love Jon Jones, I want to see him back. He’s such a talent that is gone and I want to see him fight. This could be a guy that could literally go undefeated his entire life. So yeah, I would love to see a guy like that back.”
McGregor’s immediate future is currently hanging in the balance, as he has yet to settle these charges of three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief at a court date set for June 14th.