Ahead of his return at UFC 246, Conor McGregor has addressed the most serious allegations lodged against him in the past year.
For months, rumors swirled. Conor McGregor, the UFC’s biggest star — ever — had been accused of sexual assault. Two separate incidents, in fact. The New York Times broke the news, but Ireland’s legal system does not allow rape suspects to be named unless convicted. Ergo, little in the way of confirmation could ever be made. Just wild internet speculation, none of it verifiable.
McGregor’s own camp offered little to no comment, outside of referring to the allegations as rumors. McGregor, however, finally opened up about the accusations Monday, in a pre-recorded interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that aired as part of his MMA Show.
The topic nearly came up when Helwani broached the subject of how McGregor’s UFC 246 fight against Donald Cerrone came together. “People that know me know my character,” McGregor responded initially. “The people that helped me in the background understand that. They helped me, and I’m very thankful for that. There was no problem. Everything went smooth.”
Later, Helwani brought up the allegations directly, giving McGregor an opportunity to respond. Which he declined at first. “I can’t say anything about this. It just has to take place, right?”
He would open up shortly after. Asked if the allegations bothered him, McGregor retorted by saying “Would it bother you? There you go.” But, McGregor insisted, the situation required “Time. Patience. Patience is a skill we must master. Patience is one of the most valuable skills a human being must master, and I’m working hard to master it. And I feel I’m getting there. So time. Time. Time will show all. That’s it. Right now, I’m focused on the bout – focused on positivity and good thoughts. And I will say a prayer for those trying to curse me and trying to bring harm to me with these type of things. And that’s it.”
As an example, the accusations — ignored by most legitimate media outlets — that McGregor had fathered a love child took over two years to play out. Helwani brought that particular scandal up alongside the assault allegations, to which Conor replied “it is what it is, there you go — it’s not mine.”
Asked if he denied the sexual assault allegations against him, McGregor responded “Yes, of course. Of course. Yes. Come on Ariel, seriously? Time, time please. Just time. Time will reveal all. Time will tell all. That’s it.”