If interim UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has ever been scared of any man he’s fought in the Octagon, he sure hasn’t shown it. But when it comes to the hypothetical of ever getting into the ring with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, McGregor sounds uncharacteristically frightened.
“I certainly would not like to end up in a tie-up with Ms. Rousey. I remember one time when I seen her and greeted her and said, ‘What’s up, champ,’ and we embraced,” McGregor told SI Now. “I swear on my life her back muscles were the most solidest back muscles I’ve ever felt in my life. I thought if this lady was to get a hold of me, she would throw me on my head in literally one second flat.
“So I would not like to engage in a clinch fight with Ronda,” he said before possibly rethinking what his being wary of anything might do to his reputation.
“But, make no mistake about it, I have my ways to win that fight, too,” he added, not specifying what he could do to overcome Rousey’s judoka skills.
Rousey will surely let that one slide from McGregor. Not only are the two friends, but she’s got a more immediate opponent on her radar in the form of Brazil’s Bethe Correia, who she’ll fight this weekend at UFC 190.
Rousey and Correia have been anything but friendly to each other leading up to Saturday night’s pay-per-view, not least of which is because of comments made in May by Correia. She told Rousey that she hoped she “does not kill herself” when she loses her title. Predictably, Rousey, whose father committed suicide when she was a child, did not respond kindly. And although Correia apologized for the remark, Rousey continues to hold a grudge, which she plans to act on Saturday night.
“It’s definitely not going to be an Instagram fight,” Rousey told TMZ on Tuesday, meaning that instead of getting the fight over quickly via submission (her last one lasted just 14 seconds), she plans to drag this one out to make Correia suffer.
“If I beat you quickly, that’s me at my nicest and most merciful,” Rousey said. “That means you get to go home unscathed with a paycheck.
“If I make the fight last longer, that means I don’t like you and I want you to go home looking different than the way you walked in … and I don’t like this chick,” she added.
Vegas oddsmakers are betting on Rousey to retain her title and undefeated record at the Rio de Janeiro event. The main card events begin at 10 p.m. ET.