Conor McGregor was opportunistic as ever this past Saturday night when he erupted with a series of messages on social media taking aim at Justin Gaethje after his stunning knockout win over Dustin Poirier in the UFC 291 main event.
While he was expected to clash with fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Michael Chandler in his return, McGregor called out Gaethje saying “Justin, I’ll slap you around” and proclaiming himself “the real ‘BMF.’ In response, Gaethje shot McGregor down while keeping his primary focus on the pursuit of the UFC lightweight title and accusing the former two-division UFC champion of using steroids while he’s been out of the promotion’s anti-doping program.
“I like how Gaethje responded,” UFC welterweight Matt Brown said about the situation on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. “Like ‘I don’t really care about Conor McGregor, I want the title.’ He said the right thing.”
Because McGregor has been out of action for over two years with no exact return date in sight, Brown criticized the Irish superstar for doing the exact opposite of what made him such a huge name when he first arrived in the UFC by talking trash and then backing up those words inside the cage.
These days, Brown sees McGregor talking the talk but still not walking the walk and the act is getting tired.
“Conor likes being in the spotlight,” Brown said. “He likes his name being put out there. We’re talking about it right now. That’s what Conor does. He gets out in the spotlight and that’s why there’s been a lot of people talking negative things about him lately. Because that’s what he’s doing. He’s talking his stuff, doing the Dillon Danis style. It’s not going to happen. Like get in there and fight, bro.
“This sport you can only talk so much and you’ve got to back it up. That’s where Conor made his name. Going in there, talking all that s***, backing it up. That’s why we loved him. Now he’s talking his s*** and sitting on a yacht doing cocaine or drinking Proper 11 or whatever the f*** it is. No one really cares.”
Brown acknowledges that McGregor can change the narrative if he actually returns to action and reminds the world that he’s still one of the best fighters on the planet. But right now the clock is still ticking with more than three years gone since his last win in the UFC.
As much as McGregor built a reputation through verbally assaulting his opposition, he routinely followed that up with a spectacular performance in the fight that eventually followed.
The social media antics may still get some attention but Brown believes that McGregor just needs to get back in there and fight again before saying anything else.
“We do want to see Conor fight,” Brown said. “I want to see him fight. You want to see him fight. Everybody wants to see him fight except himself. He’s the only one that doesn’t want to fight. You’ve got to put up or shut up. That’s all it comes down to. You’ve got to get in there and throw some f****** fists or those words every time you say them are just going to have less and less impact and we’re going to care less and less. That’s the nature of this sport.
“People care less about me now because I haven’t been active this year. I had my fight, everybody’s on your nuts when you fight. After, people care less and less. That’s just what it is. Even with Conor’s brash personality, all the funny things he says, I mean if he had a podcast or something, everybody would listen to it of course. He’s a great personality and all that. This sport is brutal. There’s too many guys out there fighting right now that everybody’s watching and everybody’s loving. You’ve got to get in there and fight. That’s what people want to see.”
McGregor still commands an audience but Brown notices a vast difference from the way his words are received now versus the days when he was running roughshod over two divisions.
“I don’t think people care about him nearly as much,” Brown said. “It’s cool, gives us a little something to talk about but it’s like the impact is getting less and less all the time.”