We saw a different Conor McGregor at the UFC 257 pre-fight press conference on Thursday — a more warm, friendly, and complimentary Conor McGregor.
Rather than bombard Dustin Poirier with insults as was the case prior to their first bout at UFC 178, ‘The Notorious’ showered ‘The Diamond’ with compliments instead, wishing his opponent the best of luck ahead of Saturday night.
But why? Why the change of attitude at this stage of his career?
Well, aside from the fact that McGregor has matured as a fighter, coach Owen Roddy says there’s ‘no need’ for trash talk anymore as the former two-weight champ has nothing left to prove.
“To be honest, when Conor was coming up, he had a point to prove as well,” Roddy told Submission Radio in a recent interview (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock). “He believed in himself, we believed in him, but the rest of the world didn’t. See, and when you have this young kid, very confident, very sure of himself, a lot of people don’t like that, because we all want to be like that, but it’s very hard for you to come across that way. It takes somebody that’s really sure of themselves, really, really confident themselves.
“Conor was that person, he had a lot to prove, and he proved it all. He doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody anymore. He doesn’t have to say he’s gonna do this and do that. He’s done it all. Now, if somebody talks shit or if somebody’s saying shit, you’ll get that back, you’ll get that quick wit. That’s all still there. But it’s just, he doesn’t need to do it.”
“And, the way the last fight went, there was a lot of respect between Conor and Cerrone,” he added. “And there’s definitely mutual respect between Conor and Poirier. So, there’s no need for it. But rest assured, if Poirier was to come out and start giving Conor a lot of crap and if that’s the way it had have went, Conor would’ve been on top of him. Let’s just say that. But there’s no need. There’s no need for it. Both fighters respect each other, and they’re just gonna let their hands do that talking on Saturday night.”
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor II takes place tonight, Jan. 23 at the Etihad Arena (Fight Island) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.