Super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim has lashed out in the direction of UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
He believes McGregor was ‘arrogant and ignorant’ for believing that he could beat eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Netx month, Yildirim will get the biggest opportunity of his career when he challenges WBC, WBA champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on February 27th in Miami, Florida.
McGregor was in serious negotiations to face Pacquiao in a boxing match at some point in 2021.
The two athletes are handled by the same management company.
But the fight fell apart last Saturday night, when McGregor was knocked out in two rounds by Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
Yildirim believes McGregor, who in 2017 made his pro boxing debut and was stopped in ten rounds by Floyd Mayweather, should stick to his own sport.
“Should basketball teams start playing football? Would you watch a baseball team playing hockey? It‘s two different sports. If somebody wants to turn from one sport to the other that‘s fine. But it‘s surely not easy to do,” Yildirim told Sun Sport.
“We are professionals at what we do. We have done it for years – training, fighting – to get to the level where we are. To believe that you can just enter a sport and beat somebody who has done it his whole life is arrogant and ignorant to say the least.
“I think McGregor has been a big star at UFC but I don‘t see him as a boxer. He clearly lost to Mayweather and I don‘t understand why he should have the desire to lose to Pacquiao. If they want to fight, let them fight. No problem. Would I watch it? I don‘t think so.”