Dillon Danis has an interesting place in the MMA landscape. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom, he is best known in those circles for being kicked out of Marcelo Garcia’s gym over his online trolling behavior. Then he became a fixture in Conor McGregor’s camp, and he used the fame that came off that to land himself a $100,000 paycheck in his first MMA fight with Bellator.
Along the way he attracted an endless amount of haters, and you better believe those numbers soared after Khabib Nurmagomedov jumped the cage at UFC 229 and attacked Danis after defeating McGregor. Dillon denied reports that he had called Khabib a “smelly Muslim rat,” saying “Khabib fans are attempting to smear me in an effort to justify his actions. I have never and would never denigrate anyone’s religion.”
That hasn’t stopped the flow of hate coming his way, and now he’s reacting in the more typical Danis fashion:
Comparing yourself to Jesus is no longer the blasphemous act it was when The Beatles did it back in 1966, but the comment is still sure to ruffle many feathers. Anti-fans of Danis can take it any way they like: as a ridiculous overestimation of his own importance, or as another sly jab touching on the Islam vs. Christianity stuff that’s arisen in the McGregor vs. Khabib aftermath.
For what it’s worth, McGregor coach John Kavanagh backed up Danis’ original denials of religion baiting during the Khabib-McGregor fight.
”Absolutely not, I did not hear anything,” he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “How loud would he have to be screaming if that was what triggered Khabib? But I haven’t heard Khabib say that. Has Khabib said that he heard something? I haven’t heard anything either. So I think that started with one of those junk clickbait websites just to get something going. But there were mics everywhere, fans everywhere. He would have had to been screaming. And it’s just not Dillon’s nature.”
”Dillon is a bit of a troll online, but he’s kind of learning from what’s grabbing attention,” Kavanagh continued. “Look where it’s gotten him. He got a really good contract with Bellator off zero MMA experience. It’s because he’s partly playing that entertainment side of MMA. That’s just how the game is now. I have my opinion on that, but it’s uninteresting. I just know what is, and that’s a side of the game that’s encouraged by the fans. Because it’s rewarded.”
”That aside, Dillon’s a good guy. He’s not a nasty personality. He’s a nice fella. You meet him outside, and I challenge anyone that’s met him when he’s in the club or in the gym teaching raw beginners armbars, he’s a nice fella. There’s no way I could project him having that kind of vitriol and having him speak that way.”