Conor McGregor: “I’ll believe Croke Park when I see it”

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It’s almost time. With less than three weeks to go before featherweight champions Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor unify their belts in Las Vegas things are beginning to heat up for the much anticipated December 12th clash.

This week, Andrew McGahon caught up with McGregor for an exclusive SevereMMA interview during his final sparring session in SBG before heading to America and, as usual, he had plenty to say about his training camp, media obligations, Aldo himself and a possible future show in Croke Park.

“I always get the best training done here at home in Straight Blast Gym.” McGregor said.

“It’s the last session we’re getting in now tonight. We must have done close to fifty rounds over the last four days.”

“Before I came home I was like; “it’s going to be heavy now”. I haven’t been home in three fights, I haven’t been home since the documentary aired. There was a lot of thought in my head that this was going to be a little bit too much.”

“But when I got here and I walked in these doors in the gym and saw everybody again it was like; “What was I thinking?” I’m home. I’m home now. So that was quickly brushed to the side and I got back to training. I love being home.”

Unfortunately for McGregor that time at home is about to end as he travels across the Atlantic to begin the final part of fight build-up stateside.

“I fly to Los Angles now in the early hours of the morning, enjoy that beach air for two weeks, to handle the media obligations, to handle the weight-cut and then we hit Las Vegas to prepare to unify my belt.”

“It makes perfect sense.” McGregor said. “There’s media obligations to do in Los Angeles. We’ve got to do the Jimmy Kimmel Show…. I don’t watch none of that shit, I just get it done. I show up and blow it out of the water every damn time. I’ll go there spend maybe ten days, maybe twelve days, get a little bit of a tan, I’m due a bit of vitamin D, and then head to Las Vegas to fight.”

And that fight, which was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 189 in July before Jose Aldo pulled out with a rib injury, promises to be one of the biggest in UFC history – if in fact it can go ahead this time. When asked if he thinks Jose Aldo will show up for the fight on December 12th McGregor simply said: “We’ll see.”

“I’ll be there.” McGregor went on to say.

“I have made it. I’ve put himself through an intense training camp.”

“Who cares if he’s there or not? I’ll be there. I hope he’s there, but I don’t know.”

Also thought to be on the upcoming agenda for McGregor is a heavily rumoured Croke Park event early next year but the Dubliner was somewhat muted in his anticipated for an MMA showcase at the GAA HQ.

“You know, I’ll believe Croke Park when I see it.” McGregor said.

“I feel what I done in Las Vegas in July and what the Irish people done – we brought $200 million in revenue to that city – it helped seal the deal on the new MGM deal for the UFC.”

“I’ll believe Croke Park when I see it. I know they say this and they say that but I feel I might be locked into the MGM for a while. I feel the MGM want me every time because of what we bring so I’ll believe Croke Park when I see it.”

Before any talk of an Irish show, though, McGregor has December 12th on the cards first and he seems as confident as ever.

“I’m hungry right now.” McGregor said.

“I’m prepared to kill this man and unify the belts. Then what will they have to say? We’ll see what they say after Jose falls. We’ll see what they say when Jose crumbles inside one.”

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma