MMA fighter Conor McGregor has ascended to the upper echelon of his sport and in doing so, the loquacious Irishman has become one of the most recognizable and compelling figures in the sport.
In an exclusive interview with SportsCenter’s Kenny Mayne (for a “Sunday Conversation” set to debut in Sunday’s 10 a.m. ET edition of the show), McGregor discusses his recent meeting with UFC President Dana White and owner Lorenzo Fertitta and also touches on when he will fight again and just how serious he is about facing boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Mayne conducted the interview Thursday – in conjunction with ESPN the Magazine – in an abandoned warehouse in Los Angeles. He provided some insight into the sit-down to Front Row:
What surprised you most about Conor and the interview?
Actually he came across in the same way I perceived him. Honest guy. Has lots of opinions, proud of what he’s accomplished and stands by his convictions.
With someone as quotable as Conor, what techniques do you use to make sure you’re asking the right follow-ups?
Sadly, I don’t use any of the ESPN’s techniques. I just try not to screw it up and relate to the person without making it be an interrogation. We talked briefly off-camera before and I felt like I was pretty well at ease with him going in. It was not contentious even though some of it had to do with his contentious relationship with UFC.
What does McGregor say about his recent dinner with White and Fertitta?
He talked about that dinner a lot. He said a lot was accomplished. I asked him to put it in American football terms and he said they’re at midfield. It seems to me they have a ways to go, but he was able to give them a better appreciation of where he stood.