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Morning Report: 'King' Mo Lawal calls Conor McGregor's comparisons to Muhammad Ali 'a slap in the face'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is already drawing comparisons to Muhammad Ali, but not everyone's happy about it.

After watching McGregor stop Jose Aldo just 13 seconds into their main event title bout at UFC 194, UFC commentator Kenny Florian certainly wasn't alone lavishing praise on the Irishman.

"When you see someone like a Conor McGregor you realize that he's special," Florian said Monday on his podcast. "He is that Michael Jordan character that comes in a scores 63 points on the Boston Celtics and acts like it's normal and says he was going to do it. He is the Michael Jordan. He is the Muhammad Ali of our generation.

"Everyone should be celebrating this because it's rare in your lifetime that you get to see someone like this compete."

Speaking with Tyron Woodley and Din Thomas on their podcast, 'King' Mo Lawal let it be known he doesn't appreciate the sentiment.

"I think it was a good performance," Lawal said of McGregor's KO win. "What he's doing with his striking range, he's confident, but one thing I don't like is when people say he's like Ali. How dare you all say he's like Ali. [McGregor's] turning heads, he's got Ireland behind him. White folks love Ireland and Italy, but Ali stood for something different, a whole different thing."

Credited as the greatest trash talker in combat sports history, Ali was one of the most polarizing figures in athletics during his controversial career. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named Ali its "Sportsman of the Century."

The publication has since renamed its Legacy Award the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award which is intended to "celebrate individuals whose dedication to the ideals of sportsmanship has spanned decades and whose career in athletics has directly or indirectly impacted the world."

"McGregor stands for himself and for his country, but Ali was greater than that," said Lawal. "Ali gave us a voice. To me, it's a slap in the face when people try to compare him to Ali. If you want to say he talks trash as ridiculous as Ali, cool, but that's about it. As far as being as significant as Ali? Ali is the greatest and most influential athlete of all time."

Check out the rest of the episode to hear what Mo thinks about Sage Northcutt's exceptional fight purse.



Uh oh. CABMMA discovers series of frauds by MMA fighters during secret investigation.

Fortunes changed for five. Rather than look at five fighters, Dave Meltzer explains how five different divisions were affected after last week's three UFC events.

Medical. Rose Namajunas is one of several fighters who have been issued a six-month medical suspension following last weekend's action.

Odds. Conor McGregor is already an early favorite in a hypothetical rematch with Jose Aldo.

Big weekend. On Saturday, UFC programming on FOX Sports 1 broke the FS1 record for most viewers ever for a pay-per-view prelim show, most watched match, and most watched weigh-ins.




Free Fight: Alistair Overeem vs Stefan Struve.


Luke Rockhold talks controversial non-stoppage against Chris Weidman.


Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to return in March and fight at UFC 200 in July.


Joe Rogan counts down Donald Cerron's top performances.


WHOA TV's 2015 year in review.




Long watches.

Nick the Tooth sits down with Rafael and Gui Mendes.










Holly's got armbars.

One of my training partners and i working on stuff :)

Posted by Holly Holm on Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Couldn't hurt.


Good luck.


Whatever works.


Get well soon.


Didn't he just skydive?

In Miami. I couldn't accept my friends' challenge. I'm too afraid of heights... Lol

Posted by Georges St-Pierre on Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Silver lining.

The best part about bruising on my face is telling everyone my wife runs a tight ship, as she stands there 90 pounds and 4′10″.

Posted by Joe Lauzon on Tuesday, December 15, 2015



Announced yesterday (Dec. 15 2015)

Mike Bronzoulis vs. Melvin Guillard at Bellator 149

David Jordan vs. Johnny Nunez at World Series of Fighting 26

Derek Brunson vs. Roan Carneiro at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh

Chris Camozzi vs. Joe Riggs at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh

Trevor Smith vs. Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh

Shane Campbell vs. James Krause at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh

Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Brandon Thatch at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh

Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Anthony Hamilton at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh

Alex Garcia vs. Sean Strickland at UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh


Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.