Kenny Mayne of SportsCenter wasn’t the only ESPN employee that Conor McGregor spoke to on Thursday.
MMA writer Brett Okamoto also got the chance to sling some questions regarding the events of the last month at the always loquacious UFC star.
Conor McGregor calls UFC 200 situation a "publicized civil war." I also sat down with him last Thursday to talk about it. Story coming soon.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 22, 2016
Okamoto wrote a story on Sunday, shortly after Mayne’s interview aired, around the featherweight champion’s responses to both sets of questions.
One of the most interesting things to emerge from the piece that wasn’t included in the video interview, was McGregor’s revelation that the tragic death of Joao Carvalho had, as was widely speculated at the time, been a contributing factor in his decision to eschew UFC 200 media duty.
Carvalho, a native of Portugal, died at Dublin’s Beaumont hospital on Monday the 11th of April, roughly 48 hours after losing via 3rd round TKO to McGregor’s SBG teammate Charlie Ward at Total Extreme Fighting 1, which took place at Ireland’s National Boxing Stadium.
The 28-year-old’s death caused a media storm in McGregor’s homeland and there were even calls from certain quarters for MMA to be banned in the country.
McGregor was cageside on the night in question.
“I had f—— journalists knocking down my mother’s door, you know what I mean?” said the Dubliner. “That’s not what I signed up to do — have people knocking on my mother’s door, talking about a kid dying. It’s not nice to see a kid die like that. It does something to you. And there’s been show after show canceled in Ireland since that. It’s f—– up to be a part of it, and I didn’t want to bring it back up and put it more on a public scale”.
“After all that, I did not want to be put in front of a camera and made to dance. I just wasn’t feeling it.”