Conor McGregor has apologized for his use of a homophobic slur following SBG Ireland teammate Artem Lobov’s loss to Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night 118 on Oct. 21.
The UFC lightweight champion was caught on tape using a derogatory term while attempting to console Lobov backstage in Gdansk, Poland.
“I thought you were going to sleep him,” McGregor told Lobov. “All I’m saying, he’s a f----t. I never knew he was a f----t.”
During an appearance on Ireland’s “The Late, Late Show,” McGregor apologized for his remarks, claiming he was caught up in the moment after watching a training partner lose. McGregor was very visible throughout the bout, and was warned by referee Marc Goddard to return to his seat during the fight as he attempted to shout encouragement to Lobov. The Irishman emphasized that he meant “no disrespect” to the LGBT community.
“I was watching a fighter, a sparring partner, a friend, a brother of mine who was giving his health -- his body health, his brain health, everything -- to help me prepare for fights to give my brain health and my body health to entertain the public,” McGregor told host Ryan Tubridy. “That’s the fighter I was going to watch and support.”
“I witnessed him lose a fight in a potential career-defining or a career-ending fight in a manner where the opponent was stalling and running away, and I was upset,” he continued. “I was whispering in his ear, and I was speaking on that, and I said what I said. I meant no disrespect to nobody, to anybody in the LGBT community.”
To further defend himself, McGregor cited his efforts to support same-sex marriage in Ireland. Leading up to UFC 189, McGregor was vocal in regarding equal rights for people in his home country regardless of sexual orientation.
Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 19, 2015
"You’d swear I was screaming at two people of the same sex kissing,” he said. “I campaigned, when we were trying to get same sex marriage legalized, I was campaigning for that. It is another one where things just get blown out and they love to just, any chance they get they love to throw me under the bus.”