Last week, Conor McGregor had some harsh words for Joseph Duffy while he was a guest on the 300th episode of The MMA Hour. This week Duffy got his chance to respond.
In typical fashion, Duffy was calm, casual and understated in his approach to the subject of “The Notorious”. When Ariel Helwani asked “Irish Joe” why he hadn’t spoken up during Conor’s outlandish tirade at the UFC’s Go Big press conference, Duffy stated that it just didn’t seem natural.
“It’s just not really my style. I’m not too bothered about what Conor’s thoughts are on things. I just said to myself the day before – ‘I’ll just do whatever feels natural’. I just felt like I wasn’t going to get a lot out of having a trash-talking battle there.”
“My job isn’t to talk, my job is to fight. He can talk all he wants but if it comes down to me and him getting into the octagon – that’s a different story”
Helwani also delved into Duffy’s feeling’s about Conor’s repeated claims that Joe isn’t actually a true Irishman, only to find that the stoic Donegal lightweight doesn’t have any feelings about the matter at all.
“Conor’s opinion doesn’t matter to me, he can say what he wants” said the unflappable Tristar fighter. “Nothing Conor says can get under my skin.”
While he wasn’t going to be lured into engaging with the taunts of the motor-mouthed Dublin native, Duffy didn’t display a lack of confidence when the prospect of a rematch with his more famous countryman was brought up.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
“I believe I can take Conor out just as quickly”, said Joe. That would be quite a feat given that the first time they fought he put a less notorious McGregor away in a mere 38 seconds, via arm-triangle induced submission.
Though he acknowledged that Conor has improved significantly since that November 2010 encounter, he also stated with conviction “so have I”.
“Everything Conor does I can beat him at”, said Joe confidently, adding “there is not an area where I feel he can beat me.”
Despite that brief glimpse at a more defiant Duffy, the conversation only served to highlight once again how different the two Irish athletes are. Helwani described Duffy as “a complete 180 from him[Conor McGregor]”, and even went so far as to ask if it was a conscious effort on his behalf to be the complete antithesis of his raucous rival. Duffy denied this, claiming that he was just being himself and that he didn’t believe the fans would be fooled by an act.
Maybe it wasn’t on par with the magnetic verbal performance that Conor turned in last week, but in his own genuine way Duffy did his part in the promotion of what could be a huge fight down the road.
Styles make fights, but personalities create mega-events. The contrast between this diametrically opposed pair would make for an intriguing build-up, with there history adding an extra dimension.
“I feel that fight would fill Croke park”, stated Duffy.
If both men continue the way they are going, there is very little doubt that it will.
Joseph Duffy takes on Dustin Poirier on October 24th at Dublin’s 02 arena. Conor McGregor, of course, is set to take on Jose Aldo on December 12th in Las Vegas.