If you're UFC featherweight Mike Wilkinson there's only place you ever want to be and that's Manchester, England.
Anywhere else, especially Ireland, sucks. At least that's what he told Peter Carroll of severemma.com regarding his next opponent, Makwan Amirkhani, going to train at SBG in Dublin with Conor McGregor and company.
"He's been training in a gym for four weeks, you can't pop over for such a short period of time and expect to develop as a fighter. His game hasn't developed jack shit. All he's probably developed is speaking Irish."
"You don't want people like that, fighters from your own weight division, showing up to train with you. It doesn't make sense. Makwan is only doing that because he doesn't have confidence in his own ability. He should train where he's from. I'm from Manchester, so I train in Manchester, I can learn everything I need to know there."
Wilkinson, 9-1, is set to face Amirkhani, 12-2, on the prelims of UFC Fight Night 84 in London, U.K., on Feb. 27, 2016.
Ordinarily that fight wouldn't warrant much press coverage, but I have to admit Wilkinson's comments are so absurd I can't help but marvel. For instance, the Brit insists training with the UFC's featherweight champion is just a huge waste of time and effort.
"Listen, the only reason he went to SBG was to get a bit of glory off the back of Conor McGregor," he said. "Conor McGregor doesn't want people like him in his gym. I'll bet you any amount of money Conor has not followed him back on Twitter or anything like that."
Damn that's cold. However, I did a cursory look at McGregor's Twitter account and didn't immediately spot Amirkhani so maybe he's right. The Finn, however, was thrilled to train with the "Notorious" fighter.
He is cool @TheNotoriousMMA pic.twitter.com/ac0U0rqyFj— Makwan Amirkhani (@MakwanAmirkhani) January 25, 2016
Wilkinson further speculated that Amirkhani spent four weeks at the famous SBG gym solely to "get a bit of glory off the back of Conor McGregor," something he would never do because he plans on fighting the Irishman for the belt someday.
Well, dare to dream, Manchester. Dare to dream.
Wilkinson was last seen inside the Octagon in October of 2014, dispatching Niklas Backstrom via strikes just over a minute into the first round to improve his UFC record to 2-1. Amirkhani is 2-0 in UFC with back-to-back first round stoppages, including a six second starching of Andy Ogle.