Firas Zahabi says Dustin Poirier “deserves a medal” for remaining classy despite Conor McGregor’s “vile” and “disgusting” behavior. The renowned MMA coach says it takes a lot of character to not retaliate after everything that was said before and after the bout.
“I was really grossed out. I don’t know how you guys can be fans of this man,” Zahabi said on his YouTube channel as he discussed McGregor’s actions. “I respect him as a fighter. I respect his skills — I can’t deny that — but the way he behaved was just horrible.”
Zahabi also questioned the people surrounding the Irish superstar.
“If McGregor has one true friend in this world... maybe he’s just surrounded by people who just want his prestige and money, and want what they can get from him,” he said. “But if he has a single true friend in this world, that true friend is going to take him behind closed doors and say ‘The way you’re behaving, it’s stupid. You’re making yourself look bad. You’re embarrassing us, your family, your friends. It’s just a humiliating way for a warrior and martial artist to behave.’”
SBG head coach John Kavanagh decided to pass blame on “hormones” and even Joe Rogan for McGregor’s actions at UFC 264. That doesn’t really explain the similar behavior prior to the contest, and then again days after the fight, where he appeared to threaten Poirier’s entire family.
Zahabi then questioned why McGregor routinely gets a pass for “intolerable” and “disgusting” behavior.
“He’s going after kids now! Now if that was anybody else, if that was a guy on the prelim card, we would all be ‘kick this guy off the roster!’” he said. “No no no, but because it’s Conor McGregor, you can’t say that! He’s Conor McGregor, he’s the poster boy. He’s the one who sells all the tickets! No, there’s no pass on that.
“Intolerable behavior,” Zahabi described McGregor’s actions. “In the Khabib fight, he was talking about family members, religion. Things that you don’t touch.
“Whatever beef you have there, you can’t take it and start threatening to kill each other, and then start threatening to kill each other’s children, team members and what not. That’s just animal behavior. Then to say what he said about Poirier’s wife. It’s disgusting.”
Zahabi says the post-fight rant and death threats were a clear sign that the “heavily narcissistic” Irishman just can’t accept losses, and was “jealous” of Poirier’s big moment.
“The guy was so disrespectful, so disgusting, so pathetic,” he said.
“McGregor was so down. He was so jealous of Poirier, he would say anything to try and insult Poirier, try to take away this moment from Poirier. Listen, Poirier has beaten you. He’s a better fighter than you. He will be remembered as a better fighter than you,” he said. “Lose with some class!
“I think McGregor suffers from narcissism — heavily, heavily narcissistic. Unfortunately for him, he can’t see that he’s at fault,” Zahabi opined. “That’s why he needs a true friend or family member to step in, sober him up a little.
“Frankly, all he did was embarrass himself. You’ll never see a fighter behave like this. He’s the only guy, that even if he loses, he can’t take it. He can’t look in the mirror and say ‘you know what, that wasn’t my fight, it didn’t go my way. I lost. Here’s what I have to do to improve. This is how I better myself.’ No no no, in his mind ‘it was a freak accident. There was no check. You’re going to get a beating in the second round.’ It’s just nonsense! Pure nonsense,” Zahabi said.
“Not only has his skills as a fighter dipped, but also his character.”
The Tristar Gym head coach believes that Poirier has already surpassed McGregor, and beat him “in all areas of the fight,” so it would be a mistake to go for a fourth match. He also thinks McGregor isn’t in a “top five” level now, and his left straight “doesn’t have the touch of death” anymore.
McGregor, now 33, has lost three of his last four bouts, and only has one win since 2016.