- Sylvester Stallone, a minority owner in the UFC, has said the company is concerned about its most famous athlete, Conor McGregor.
- McGregor was famously submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fourth round of a one-sided fight at UFC 229.
- He was recently arrested after he was accused of slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand, stomping on it several times, and walking away with it.
- Stallone said McGregor should use all recent events, good or bad, as energy to fuel a comeback to the UFC octagon.
- And the fight Stallone most wants to see is a rematch between the “UFC Gods” McGregor and Nurmagomedov.
Sylvester Stallone, a minority owner in the UFC, said the company is concerned about Conor McGregor as the Irishman keeps getting “publicly humiliated.”
Stallone shot to fame when he wrote and starred in “Rocky,” a movie about a heavyweight boxer who fights for the world title. He has since starred in five sequels, which spawned the spinoff sequels “Creed” and “Creed II.”
“Eye of the Tiger,” the theme tune from “Rocky III,” has frequently been used as the entrance music for famous fighters, such as the eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao, and the influence Stallone has had on the sport was immortalised when he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, in 2011.
But Stallone deepened his relationship with combat sports when he invested in UFC after its $US4 billion sale to the Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG.
McGregor was recently arrested after he was accused of slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand, stomping on it, and walking away. He is also is off-form after his resounding 2018 loss to lightweight rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, which is his third defeat in his last five fights in all competitions.
When asked whether the company is worried about this, Stallone told TMZ Sports, “Yeah … we are.”
But Stallone said McGregor should be “inspired” by recent events in his life and that he should use all of that energy, both good and bad, as a means of fuelling his comeback to the UFC.
Speaking as McGregor, Stallone said: “OK, I’ve gone through a very rough time. I’ve been somewhat publicly humiliated. I’m at a crossroad in my life … I have to overcome an incredible opponent who seems invulnerable.”
“This is a crossroad in his life. If he can’t overcome his fear and beat this man, I think it will plague him for the rest of his life,” Stallone added.
Stallone said McGregor lost in the fourth round of that unforgettable UFC 229 event because he got “resentful, prideful, and arrogant.” He added: “He put his hands down … he walked right up to that gentleman, and he just got smashed in the face when he could have been defensive. There was no Plan B. Not even a Plan A minus.”
McGregor and Nurmagomedov are ‘UFC Gods’
A rematch between the lightweight champion Nurmagomedov and the former two-weight champion McGregor has been raised before, most prominently by McGregor himself, but they are serving suspensions for the roles they played in post-fight brawls that marred the show.
While McGregor is free to fight starting April 6, Nurmagomedov was struck with a heavier ban and is not free to return to the cage until July unless he films and distributes an anti-bullying message for the Las Vegas police department.
Regardless, Stallone said a prospective rematch remains something he would love to see as they are “two UFC Gods.” He added: “I wanna see a guy that leaves everything on the table.”
On McGregor’s recent arrest, Stallone had seven simple words of advice for the fighter: “Keep smiling. You can’t critique a smile.”
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