The message from Conor McGregor to the MMA media has become clear: Any criticism or besmirching from fighter-analysts is subject to a swift retaliation.
Weeks ago when Daniel Cormier took exception to some of McGregor’s recent antics, McGregor fired back, calling Cormier a fat drunk and also roasted his fashion skills. Then, when he butted heads with Michael Bisping soon after, a pattern began to take shape. And if there was any doubt about McGregor’s new zero-tolerance policy for criticism from fighter-analysts, we now have a third example in Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
Recently, Smith criticized some of McGregor’s trash talk, stating that the Irishman has gone over the line in the past. Here is an excerpt of what Smith had to say (h/t LowKickMMA).
“With Conor, it’s just — it’s too far, it’s way too far,” Smith explained. “Take all this fighting bullsh*t out of the picture — like people get shot for a lot less than that just walking down the street, I don’t know. Maybe I just grew up different. Maybe I grew up different and I’ve seen some crazier sh*t.“
After McGregor stumbled upon these comments, just as with Cormier and Bisping, Smith became the latest target of the Irishman’s countershot.
“@lionheartsmith who’s getting shot for what? What the fuck are you saying you big zombie? The disrespect coming my way consistently is what is causing my response. Are you stupid? You do not see this? Fuck off and leave me alone you losers. You nobodies. I’m preparing to return.”
Anthony Smith Responds To Conor McGregor
Following that latest deleted tweet from McGregor, Smith was asked about McGregor’s comments in an interview with Fight Nation on Sirius XM.
First, Smith defended his decision to speak on McGregor, reminding the public (specifically the fans of McGregor who have since harassed him) that he and most other analysts only speak about McGregor when asked about him. He conceded that might not be the case with Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier since they have their own shows/podcasts, but generally speaking, they are just responding to the questions being asked.
Then, Smith would play down his remarks and state that while he stands by what he said, the comments were blown out of proportion.
“The getting shot thing, I said it very impassive,” If you actually listen to it, it was like an off-handed kind of comment. Like, ‘Man, I can’t believe he’s saying this. I don’t know why he feels so comfortable. Like, damn, man, people get shot for less,’ which is not untrue. Like in the real world, you can’t be going out talking about people like that.”
In comparison to McGregor’s squabbles with Cormier and Bisping, this latest exchange is no doubt on the much milder end of the spectrum. Smith didn’t even take much issue with the “zombie” label, with the light heavyweight admitting that he has fit that description on more than one occasion inside the Octagon.
Nevertheless, if you are a fighter with a presence in the MMA media, be warned. If you issue any unfavorable remarks about Conor McGregor or his behavior, you may very well be the next victim of a late-night deleted tweet.