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Bellator Star Paul Hughes Explains Post-Fight Tribute to Conor McGregor Came From the Heart

Kishore R

Bellator Star Paul Hughes Explains Post-Fight Tribute to Conor McGregor Came From the Heart

Former Cage Warriors champion, Paul Hughes just proved his mettle, making a stellar Bellator debut in his backyard in Dublin, Ireland. While ‘Big News’ showed his ferocity in finishing off Bobby King with brutal ground and pound, it was the Irishman’s tribute to Conor McGregor that stole the limelight.

Hughes has been a Conor McGregor fan for as long as he can remember, and paying respects to the UFC legend immediately after his win was something that came naturally to ‘Big News.’ In fact, he specifically thanked McGregor for inspiring a wave of young talents to take up Mixed Martial Arts from the island nation.

Later, in a conversation with Ariel Helwani on his MMA Hour podcast, Hughes addressed the emotions behind his homage, saying,

“Well, I mean it came from the heart you know… I just saw him, he (Conor McGregor) came up to the cage and he was looking on and I just spoke and that is the reality, I was speaking the truth you know…He did break down the mental barriers for us young lads coming up especially coming from Ireland.”

Well, while it is clear that Hughes holds McGregor in high regard, having the Irishman watch him in action was a dream come true, and he could not stop gushing about his idol following his victory.

“The greatest to ever do it” -Paul Hughes’ warming tribute to Conor McGregor

The stage was perfect for Hughes. Kickstarting the new chapter of his MMA career with a win, while his inspiration watched the action live from the arena. Soon after the win, Bellator presenter, Dan Hardy mentioned that ‘The Notorious’ is in the building and asked for the youngster’s take. Without any second thoughts, Hughes showered praise on the fighter-turned-millionaire, essentially thanking him for his contribution to the sport in his country.

He mentioned that it was Conor who inspired the young Irish generation to take up fighting, clearing the way for the next lot, saying,

“I probably wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for a man like to inspire me coming from this island, (McGregor) was the first man to ever show us young lads it was possible, and that breaks down a lot of mental barriers and people talk sh*t but this man changed the game and changed all of our young fighters lives. Shoutout Conor McGregor, because that guy is the man and always will be the greatest to ever do it.”

Hughes even mentioned how McGregor brought the UFC bandwagon to the arena back in 2014 for the second time when he fought the Brazilian sensation, Diego Brandão. Moreover, his blitzkrieg performance and the presence of the former champion gave Hughes a full-circle moment as he paid his respects in plenty.

Post Edited By:Shraman Mitra

About the author

Kishore R

Kishore R


Kishore is a UFC writer at The SportsRush. It was a YouTube video of 1989’s Fight of the Year bout between Roberto Duran and Iran Barkley that got him hooked on the thrill of the gladiator sport. Later that insatiable thirst and yearning for controlled violence got him to the defunct PRIDE FC, which was the king of MMA promotions till the Ultimate Fighting Championship broke into the scene. Along with his undying passion for the sport and his experience as a writer, penning more than a thousand articles, Kishore is amalgamating his technical understanding of the sport with his stellar storytelling prowess. From Fedor’s unrivaled reign to the newest crowning of Alex Pereira, he has been religiously following the sport and wishes to see Tony Ferguson bounce back and showcase his old swagger - “IT’S TONY TIME!”

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