Conor McGregor has soured a portion of the mixed martial arts community due to his trash talk in the aftermath of UFC 264 — and Professional Fighters League (PFL) semi-finalist Raush Manfio is one of them.
Manfio (13-3) is coming off a split decision win against Anthony Pettis at PFL 6 on June 25. He will meet Clay Collard (20-8) in the PFL Lightweight Playoff Semi-Finals at PFL 7, taking place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on Fri., Aug. 13 via ESPN2 and ESPN+.
Manfio’s time in PFL has taught him a lot about self-promotion, and while he is a big proponent of trash talk, there are certain subjects that should be off-limits.
“I think trash-talking is really good when you do it the right way. ‘I’ll knock him out, I’ll submit him.’ This trash-talking I think is healthy because I’m really going to try and do that. I can say whatever I want about my opponent. I think this makes the fight bigger,” he tells MMAMania.com. “Never talk about family, countries, business or religion. This kind of stuff is outside of the map. But you need to make really good trash talk, you have to invest in social media. This is a business. Before I got into PFL, I didn’t have this business mindset.
“I think the guy who makes everything for money is a prostitute. Money does not justify everything. We have limits. What is the message you can tell to the kids? He’s the biggest name in the sport and he deserves it because he’s a very good fighter and he promotes the fights very well. But imagine, how can I tell my kid, ‘It’s okay that this guy can talk about anything he wants because he’s making millions?’” he asks. “No, it’s not true. You have limits. You have to be respectful. Martial arts is not about promoting fights only. It’s about respect and discipline. It’s the first thing you learn when you get into the sport. So just because you have money right now, you’re going to throw away everything you learned in the process? Just to get money? For me, it doesn’t work like that.”
Manfio says McGregor should take a pointer from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre.
“I like the way GSP does,” the fighter shares. “Even Kamaru Usman is a really good guy in the sport. He beats everyone inside the cage and he makes good trash talk. Especially against Colby Covington because they don’t like each other. But it has a limit. They talk about each other. That’s it. This is good. I agree. Kamaru Usman for me is the best trash talker right now. He talks about the guy, he makes jokes like, ‘I broke your face.’”
Manfio, 29, is loving the rise of promotions outside the UFC and says it has allowed him to focus on fighting as an actual career.
“I love the PFL format,” he says. “For me, to be in the PFL would be my very first option if I could choose if I could pick any show. Not to be a brown nose of PFL, to be honest. The thing about the sponsors is very important to me. If God allows me to go to the finals, even if I win the million, I want to make money with sponsors. It’s good for me to promote with other brands. This makes PFL the best option in the market in my opinion.”
PFL 7 is headlined by a Welterweight Semi-Finals fight pitting 2019 champion Ray Cooper III vs. Rory MacDonald.
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