A different side of Conor McGregor was on display during the build-up of his UFC 246 fight against Donald Cerrone. “The Notorious” veered away from the quotable trash talk that shot him to superstardom and instead put on a more cordial and respectful persona.
Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate believes the “taming” of McGregor could be connected to his legal troubles outside of the UFC. Fellow ex-titleholder Frankie Edgar agrees.
“How about Conor? He’s kind of made a little 180 type flip on his personality,” Edgar said in his recent appearance on the JRE MMA Show. “He’s still funny, he’s still mouthing and stuff, but he’s not… He seems like he’s trying to clean his image up a little bit.
“Maybe with Cowboy. Cowboy’s kind of easy to get along with and whatnot. Or maybe it’s just that he’s been dealing with so much… With the Khabib fight and hitting the old guy and the sh-t that he’s dealing with over there (in Ireland).
“That Proper Twelve, he’s gotta tow the line a little bit,” he added.
Rogan also went on to give his own opinion on McGregor’s new attitude.
“I don’t think he felt that he needed psychological warfare with Cowboy,” Rogan said. “I feel like he thought from the beginning that he had a giant advantage.
“But with Khabib, I think he felt like he had to f—k with him. I feel like he felt that he had to get Khabib emotional the same way he got Aldo emotional. But that sh-t didn’t work.
“That motherf—r, he’s a vault,” Rogan said of Khabib. “You look in his eyes, you see nothing but doom.”
McGregor remained respectful towards “Cowboy” after the fight. He even demanded an apology from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who was heavily critical towards Cerrone’s performance.