Silver screen tough guy Liam Neeson had some choice words for UFC fighter and fellow Irishman Conor McGregor in an interview where he unloaded on the “little leprechaun.”
Recently, the 70-year-old actor, who has come to be associated more with his roles in action movies like “Taken” and “Batman Begins” than RomComs like “Love Actually” or “High Spirits,” sat down with Men’s Health Magazine for an episode of “Don’t Read The Comments.”
Talking about his diet, fight choreography, and future roles he might consider, Neeson had an opportunity to respond to a fan question in reaction to his being described as a “huge fan of boxing,” a sport he participated in at the amateur level from nine- to 17-years old.
“Wonder if he watches UFC and Conor McGregor?” someone asked, to which the Qui-Gon Jinn actor bluntly answered, “UFC, I can’t stand.”
“That, to me, is like a bar fight. And I know practitioners are always like, ‘no, you’re wrong! The amount of training we do!’ Why don’t you just grab a beer bottle and hit the other guy over the head?” he aggressively pantomimed. “That’s the next stage from UFC! I f*cking hate it.”
As for the 34-year-old former Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight and lightweight champion, Neeson’s opinions were equally ruthless as he said, “That little leprechaun, Conor McGregor, oh please.”
“He gives Ireland a bad name. I know he’s fit, and I admire him for that, but can’t take it,” the actor went on.
Going by the nickname “notorious,” McGregor’s reputation has been just that as the fighting phenom’s reputation for trash talk precedes him. That included some of his choicer remarks leading up to a matchup with boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in 2017 when the MMA fighter had reacted to a “Rocky III” reference by saying, “Rocky III, that’s the one where he had that celebrity gym isn’t it? With the dancing monkeys in the gym and all.”
‘Dance for me, boy.’ UFC fighters suspected of ginning up major race-baiting hype to sell tickets https://t.co/vKwqxsaJ6N pic.twitter.com/UUuUXVZapl
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 15, 2017
However, McGregor wasn’t alone in stirring racial controversy as Neeson had taken some heat in 2019 for opening up about his reaction to learning a loved one had been raped by a black man. “She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way. But my immediate reaction was — I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”
“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know?” he recounted. “So that I could… kill him.”
Reactions to Neeson’s comments were mixed.
And he’s right. Ireland’s shame!
— chappers1995 (@Chappers19950) February 3, 2023
Agreed, McGregor is a first class ️ End
— Celtic Warrior (@celticwarrior58) February 3, 2023
The same Liam Neeson who admits he once set out to kill an innocent black man after someone close to him was raped, he is the expert on giving Ireland a bad name
— John Pira (@Hugobman63) February 4, 2023
The actor seemed to anticipate that as, before moving on to the next topic, he imagined what response he might receive when traveling through his homeland, “Next time I come in a Dublin Airport, ‘Neeson! We’ll f*cking show you!'”
As for the fighter, at the time of this post, he had offered no direct reaction, but he had posted to social media, “Irish proud — always.”
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