Conor McGreogor has been urged to ignore the advice of Mike Tyson by fellow UFC star Michael Bisping.
It takes a brave man to publicly dismiss the views of 'Iron Mike', but then Bisping, a former middleweight champion, is hardly a fighter who has ever been short of courage. And the English icon has now told McGregor to target a big fight when he returns to the octagon.
That contradicts Tyson, who on Henry Cejudo's The Fight Card podcast, suggested 'The Notorious' should have a tune-up fight following his prolonged absence from the Octagon. McGregor, 33, has not fought since breaking his leg in his defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 last July.
That bout represented a third defeat in four MMA bouts for the Dubliner, but Bisping, 43, thinks facing a lower-ranked fighter would be an unnecessary risk". "I'll never be one to argue with Iron Mike, but I don't think Conor McGregor needs any help with his confidence," Bisping said on his YouTube. "I'll just start with that.
"I understand what Mike's talking about, of course, you lose a fight, a couple of fights, three of your last four, and the last fight you had you snap your leg which was a gruesome injury you're taking time away from the octagon. Then the narrative that perhaps you should have a tune-up fight makes sense, we see that in boxing a lot.
"However, the circumstances with McGregor right now, it’s a risky one. Tyson said have two or three fights before you go into a big fight like that. There’s risk and there is reward."
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Bisping argued that with McGregor's fighting powers "on the slide," he would have nothing to lose by going in at the deep end. The Irish star has hinted at an immediate bout with Charles Oliveira, recently stripped of his UFC lightweight title after missing weight before his win over Justin Gaethje.
And Bisping seems to agree, adding: "You go up against the champ Charles Oliveira, you get beat, oh well, so what? However, if he loses to someone ranked down the pecking order, ranked six, seven, something like that, now it’s a very different conversation that’s taking place."
McGregor, who has also been called out by Jorge Masvidal, hasn't appeared like a man too concerned about any potential opponent of late. Last month, he was seen enjoying himself at the Monaco Grand Prix, having arrived in a Lamborghini super yacht.
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