Johnny Munhoz draws inspiration from Conor McGregor’s rise up the Ultimate fighting Championship (UFC) ladder, but even the UFC 265 fighter has concerns about the fiery Irishman’s attitude as of late.
Munhoz (10-1) fights Jamey Simmons (7-3) at UFC 265, which will take place inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, later on this evening (Sat., Aug. 7, 2021) via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV). Munhoz — a big McGregor fan — admits “The Notorious” is crossing a line with recent comments directed at the families of Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I really liked his upcoming, the way he came up through the sport,” Munhoz told MMAMania.com. “To me, it was probably one of the most strategic, smartest ways that anybody could climb up the ranks to get the belt and make a s—t ton of money. I think he did it the smart way. I don’t think you can hate on that. He came from nothing. He was a plumber. His girlfriend supported him. He came to the UFC, started knocking people out and running his mouth. I really respected that about him. His philosophy on the law of attraction,” “But where he is now, I’ve lost respect for him for sure. I think he lost touch with how he got there. I feel as a fighter you can’t lose touch with what got you there. You have to follow the same principles that got you there. It keeps you hungry. People can say, ‘What do you know? You have one fight in the UFC. McGregor will smash you.’ You’ll always get haters like that, but that’s just what I see.
“I respect his come up,” he continued. “I wish he could go back to that. His last fight, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t lose some respect for him. That’s not the McGregor I like to see. There is a certain limit when you’re doing that. You should leave family members out of it. It’s just between you and one other man or woman in that cage. To me, it’s free game if you’re going to bash them and run their mouth. But I think you should leave other people out of it.”
When asked about his upcoming fight, much like a young McGregor, Munhoz was dismissive of his opponent’s chances.
“My biggest advantage is that I’m an all-around fighter. I feel like I’m better in every area,” he says. “I believe I mix it up well. Striking, wrestling, jiu-jitsu... For him, his advantage, it’s hard for me to say. I respect him. He’s in the UFC. You gotta respect everyone in there. I respect all of my opponents, I just know I’m the better fighter and I’m going to show everybody why. I think his biggest advantage is probably his hair, his afro. He has a pretty good nickname, I’ll give him that.”
UFC 265 is headlined by Derrick Lewis (No. 2) vs. Ciryl Gane (No. 3) in a UFC interim Heavyweight title fight. Other notable bouts on the card include ranked bantamweights Aldo vs. Munhoz in the co-headliner, plus Chiesa vs. Luque, Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill and Song Yadong vs. Casey Kenney.
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