Don't expect UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor to throw his support behind the newly-formed Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA).
Last November, several high-profile fighters, including Georges St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez and T.J. Dillashaw, got together to form a new fighters association aimed at getting collective bargaining rights for UFC athletes.
Having McGregor throw his star power behind the new group would certainly go a long way towards validating its existence, and St-Pierre has said as much, but it doesn't sound like that's about to happen any time soon.
What he's seen of the new association so far, the Irishman hasn't liked.
“Did you see that union thing? What happened with that union thing? I’m watching this union thing, it’s like a press conference, and I’m like what the (expletive) is going on here,” McGregor said during his recent Q&A in England. “They’re standing up and they’re all wearing the same t-shirt and they’re saying ‘Conor, please? Conor please, you know what’s right. Help us out, Conor!’
“Georges (St-Pierre) is saying ‘Conor’s a good person, I know he gets paid well but he doesn’t get paid enough’. I’m like what the (expletive) are you talking about? The only reason you’re standing in the middle of that union is because you couldn’t get the deal that you want. You’re the fakest of everyone up there. That’s another situation maybe down the line.”
McGregor clearly didn't appreciate St-Pierre weighing in on what he's getting paid, and believes the fighter is more concerned about his own dealings with the UFC.
“There needs to be something, but that wasn’t it,” McGregor said about the MMAAA. “I don’t know what that was. That was like a failed promoter (Bjorn Rebney), Georges was up there angry because he couldn’t get the deal he wanted. It was just the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Despite his criticisms, McGregor is not against the cause of fighters' rights.
“As fighters, as a person that’s dedicated everything, as a person that can retire now comfortably, and I look at situations that my peers are in and people that are assigned to the promotion, there needs to be something. I’m not sure what it is,” he said. “There needs to be something but I don’t know what it is. I’m focusing on me. I’m focusing on my family’s security, my family’s financial security so that’s all I can do.
“When I saw that I just thought it was the biggest, fakest load of (expletive) I’d ever seen in my life.”
At the end of the day, McGregor says there's no substitute for hard work and fighters should not expect to be handed anything on a silver platter.
“I wish everyone well but you need to focus on yourself,” McGregor said. “You need to stop putting your hand out. Everyone wants hand outs. Everyone wants things for free. You’ve got to put in the work. You’ve got to grind. You’ve got go through the struggle and you’ve got to get it.
“If you deserve it, go get it. Don’t complain, don’t cry, get to (expletive) work and go get it. A lot of people don’t do that. A lot of people cry and complain and put their hand out and beg. It never goes well. There needs to be something, I just don’t know what that is."