ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has put Conor McGregor on blast for his ‘tasteless, classless’ behaviour in his UFC 264 defeat to Dustin Poirier at the weekend.
McGregor was screaming obscenities at Poirier and his wife as the Irishman lay on the octagon floor with a broken leg after sustaining a nasty injury during a stand-up exchange in the first round.
Smith, who was on cordial terms with McGregor prior to the fight, blasted ‘The Notorious’ for his antics and said there is simply no excuse for his behavior.
“Now I cover the world of basketball, football, and things of that nature, and the reality is this: If this was any of those guys, we’d be all over them for the kind of language that he used, the way that he talked about that man, Dustin Poirier’s family and what have you,” Smith said on ESPN following the fight (h/t Clyde Aidoo of MMA News). “There is absolutely, positively no excuse for Conor McGregor to engage in that kind of tasteless, classless behavior.”
“I understand this is the fight game and we see a lot of stuff going on from time to time. But to be on your backside with a broken leg and to go at Dustin Poirier that way where you are attacking and insulting the man’s wife, that’s why Dustin Poirier had to be restrained from going after Conor after he had spoken to Joe Rogan and he was about to walk out of the ring! Because you’re talking about the man’s wife! It’s really uncalled for. It really is.”
Smith joins a long list of pundits who’ve criticized McGregor for his post-fight behaviour. There are some, however, who have come to his defense. Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey credited McGregor for being able to conduct a post-fight interview while injured, and UFC pioneer Ken Shamrock says the former two-division champion deserves more respect for his accomplishments.