Conor McGregor was in fine form on Wednesday afternoon during a media conference call for UFC 194, and he had plenty to say about himself, Jose Aldo, and his spot in the sport.
“Winners focus on winning and losers focus on winners, so I’m a winner,” McGregor commented at one point during the call (transcribed by MMAFighting.com). “I focus on winning. I entered that promotion as a winner, as a two-weight world champion, focused on winning. That’s it.
“You’ll always hear that with people. ‘I’ve been training for this guy my whole life’. How many times you hear that? ‘When I was first coming up, that guy was the man and I’ve been training to fight him my whole life’ and then he goes and gets his ass handed to him on a plate because losers focus on winners and winners focus on winning. So, I came in here looking to win, looking to win all the belts. It doesn’t matter who holds them. I hold them, you know what I mean? Jose doesn’t show up, it makes no difference. It’s still me they’re coming to see because I’m focusing on me and I’m focusing on winning.”
McGregor got a bit heated as the topic of UFC 189 came up. The Irishman takes a certain amount of pride in the fact that he showed up in Las Vegas in July despite the injury he had suffered in the spring, while Aldo himself pulled out of that matchup with a rib injury, and that gave him further ammunition against the Brazilian Featherweight Champion.
“Nothing can break me,” he argued. “Nothing can stop this train from taking over this game. Absolutely nothing. I had a busted up leg and they knew I had a busted up leg and they planned to target it. They celebrated that because it happened on the world tour. They knew it, their whole camp knew it and they celebrated it and plotted away to attack it. [Aldo] bruised his rib and pulled out of the fight and still told him when he bruised his rib, I said, ‘Show up and I won’t target your body. You show up here, I won’t hit you once to the body. I’ll hit you clean in the face.’ And he still didn’t show up.
“I showed up because nothing can break me. No amount of adversity I cannot conquer and that’s it. My mind is strong, stronger than anything and that’s it. I went in with complete belief that my shots would land. I have so many shots in my book that although I had to put a few shots into my back pocket because my movement was limited, I could pull out a couple more out of my other pocket because that’s how many damn shots I have in my book. I could write a trilogy on that book of skill.”
Penick’s Analysis: Much like most of the press events to date for this fight, and anything else involving McGregor, he certainly took over on the call this afternoon. He’s comfortable espousing on anything regarding the game right now, and he continues to toss out sound bytes and quotable statements into this latest matchup. It’s likely this level of talk is going to continue regardless of what happens next week at UFC 194, because talkers like McGregor often find ways to spin things regardless of whether or not they’re successful in their endeavors. So even if he finds himself proven very wrong about his place atop the division, and in his thoughts on Aldo, don’t expect any apologies or admission after the fact.