Former SBG fighter Myles Price called for a showdown with Peter Queally while he was embedded at the American Kickboxing Academy ahead of UFC 229. On Saturday night, the Team Ryano lightweight gets his wish as he faces “The Showstopper” in the co-main event of Bellator 217 in Dublin, Ireland.
Price made international headlines after an appearance on Eurobash where he aired some grievances about his time training with SBG and McGregor himself.
“Splinter”, who had moved from SBG to Team Ryano many years before his visit to AKA, described McGregor as being “quite narcissistic” based on their old training sessions at SBG and predicted that Khabib Nurmagomedov would finish the Irishman in the later rounds of their clash, which later came to fruition.
After his interview was published, Price’s social media posts were inundated with rat emojis and many insisted that he was a traitor based on his training with Nurmagomedov.
“It was [crazy] to a degree, but it was also kind of expected to a degree as well,” Price said on the latest episode of Eurobash, recalling the reactions to his first appearance on the show.
“I didn’t expect it to have that kind of magnitude because there was a lot of fire from it, from the SBG side and from the hardcore McGregor fans. I knew they wouldn’t have taken my opinion too well, as honest as it was. But I had a lot of people that supported my opinion as well. A lot of people on the Irish MMA scene, the deep-rooted guys, agreed with my opinion as well. The people around me—my team, my family and my friends—and even random people come up to me to tell me, ‘Fair play’, for it, so it’s been great to have that support as well. As much as it was expected to have the backlash, I had the support to back it up also.”
Queally has joined in with the fans that have described Price as a “rat” and a “traitor” to Ireland in his social media posts ahead of the fight.
In reply to his online traction, Price changed his fighting name from “Magic” to “Splinter”—the fictional rat who is the master of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Although the insults continue to trickle in on occasion, Price claims he and his Ryano teammates are having fun with it.
“We just don’t take it seriously. When we’re all training together in the gym, we’re not thinking, ‘F*ck what they think,’ or anything like that. To be honest, I can’t believe that people actually think like that. It kind of doesn’t seem real. It is more of a joke to be honest,” he laughed.
“We’re not taking it very seriously. We’re just getting ready to do the business on fight night. We have more things to be thinking about than politics with things like that and labels like, ‘Rats.’ At the end of the day, we’re two respectable athletes. We’re jumping into a cage and we’re going to display our well-trained skills, and that’s it.”
Based on some of Queally’s posts in the lead up to the fight, Price thinks the SBG fighter could be “emotionally invested”, but he isn’t building a game plan around that:
“I feel like his attitude towards this whole situation gives indication that he’s emotionally invested, but I’d never underestimate anybody. At the end of the day, he could be putting that on. He mightn’t care as much as you’d think, I certainly don’t.”
With McGregor’s passionate support in Ireland, Price is anticipating a frosty reception at the 3 Arena on Saturday night.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to get booed because I think a lot of Conor’s hardcore fans are going to be attending this,” said Price. “It’s funny because there are a lot of people in Irish MMA that favor my opinion [on McGregor and SBG], but you won’t hear them in the crowd at the 3 Arena. It’s more of the basement dwelling keyboard warriors that you see coming to an event screaming and shouting and throwing, ‘F*ck yous’ around. I expect that kind of a crowd to be there to be honest.”
Price still doesn’t understand how people are so annoyed about him training in a different gym.
“It happens all the time. At the end of the day, so what if went over [to AKA] to train? I’m not part of their team [SBG]. I went over there to better myself, for Irish MMA and for me. They’re talking like I owe them something. What do I owe them that I have to pick a certain team at a certain time to train with, just because they feel like I’d be a rat if I didn’t? It’s mental,” he said.
“I’ve always represented Ireland, I’ve always put my heart on the line and dedicated my all to training. I’ve been through a lot of suffering like a lot of athletes have with regards to the work and the constant grind. I think [calling me a traitor] is a bit disrespectful, to be honest. That’s the way it is. If I get booed because of other peoples’ opinions, that’s not of my business. They’re entitled to it; the crowd and the team.”
Check out the latest episode Eurobash. The Myles Price interview begins at 1:22:00.