Conor McGregor has issued an apology to anyone who he offended by using a homophobic slur in a backstage conversation with teammate Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 118 a couple of weeks ago.
Lobov fell to his second consecutive loss at the event in Gdansk, dropping a unanimous decision to Team Alpha Male representative Andre Fili. It was a defeat that obviously hit Lobov hard, as the SBG featherweight’s post-fight Twitter activity suggested he was contemplating retirement.
Moments after the fight, a video emerged on social media which showed McGregor trying to console Lobov as he made his way back to the dressing room. ‘The Notorious’ one had his arm around the 31-year-old and was speaking into his ear. Though all of McGregor’s comments could not be clearly made out in the original clip, he could be heard using a homophobic slur on several occasions.
The video caused something of a media frenzy, particularly in Ireland, and McGregor was heavily criticized.
The UFC lightweight champion has remained quiet ever since but on Tuesday he filmed an interview with Ryan Tubridy which is set to be aired as part of Friday’s edition of RTÉ’s The Late Late Show and he finally offered comment on the incident.
“I have to put my hands up there,” McGregor told Tubrudy. “I was watching a fighter, a sparring partner, a training partner, a friend, a brother of mine who has given his health – his body health, his brain health, everything – to help me prepare for fights to give my brain health and my body health to entertain the public. So, that’s the fighter I was going to watch and support.
“I witnessed him lose a fight, and a potential career-ending fight, in a manner where the opponent was stalling and running away and I was upset.
“I was whispering in his ear and I was speaking on that and I said what I said. I meant no disrespect to nobody in the LGBT community. I didn’t mean no disrespect. You’d swear I was screaming at two people of the same sex kissing. I campaigned when we were trying to get same sex marriage legalised – I was campaigning for that. Again, it’s another one where things just get blown out and they love to just, any chance they get, they love to throw me under the bus. It is what it is. I just have to… I’ll just say sorry for what I said and that’s it and try to move on from it.”
This is the second time in recent months that McGregor has drawn widespread criticism for making controversial remarks. During the build up to his cross-codes super-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. earlier this year, the Dubliner made several comments that were viewed by many as racially insensitive. McGregor denied these allegations however, first in a rather ham-fisted way at a press conference in Brooklyn and later in a far more serious and vociferous manner during an interview with Ariel Helwani.
You can watch the clip of McGregor’s apology, which was released by The Late Late Show YouTube account today, below…