‘The Notorious’ spoke after knocking out the Philadelphia-native in the second round of their lightweight title bout.
Just hours after becoming the UFC lightweight champion, Conor McGregor was pulled to the side and questioned on the man he had just defeated, in the form of Eddie Alvarez.
Despite previously referring to the self-proclaimed ‘underground king’ as a bum and not at his level, as well as aiming a barrage of other NSFW comments at ‘Edward‘, McGregor this time had nothing but compliments for his opponent.
Asked whether he was surprised with the fact that the fight had gone to the second round, the Crumlin fighter replied: ‘No, I knew he was tough.’
‘I was thinking “how many smacks could he take?” But he’s tough. He’s a tough, tough dude and he’s fought all over the world, so I’ve nothing but respect for him.’
‘I know it’s probably a rough one on him and his team but he came, nothing but respect for him, we touched gloves pre-fight.’
‘He’s a good man, good solid fighter, nothing but respect. But it’s my night tonight.’
When the circus is over, this is the real Conor McGregor. pic.twitter.com/JG66AK9EpG
— caposa (@GrabakaHitman) November 13, 2016
This is not the first time that McGregor has changed his tone post fight, having previously paid tribute to the likes of Jose Aldo and Nate Diaz following victories.
At the end of the day, McGregor is an entertainer. And he is most definitely encouraged behind the scenes to partake in as much smacktalk and disrespect as he can possibly muster.
But, unlike other fighting greats like Floyd Mayweather, the Dub always ensures that he shows respect to his opponent for their efforts, win or lose.
Pre-fight and in the octagon, we see ‘The Notorious’. But once the bright lights have died down and the fight is over, we see the real Conor McGregor.
And he is a class act.