Legendary boxer Ali, who is widely considered as one of the most influential athletes of all time, was known for his sharp tongue and his ability to back it up in the ring. Ali passed away in 2016 after a battle with Parkinson’s.
McGregor’s rise in the UFC drew comparisons to Ali, which “The Notorious” was honored by. Speaking to TMZ, Ali Walsh was asked if his grandfather would have been a fan of MMA, and the rising amateur fighter says yes – especially McGregor’s wit on the mic.
“I think he would’ve liked MMA,” Ali Walsh said. “I think ’76 it was, he took a fight with a famous wrestler. MMA really started with the question of what martial art is the best. You would have the jiu-jitsu guy fight the judo guy, the wrestler fight the striker, etc. He had that question in the 70s, so that question was always there.
“I think he would have been a big fan of MMA, especially at the time when Conor was in his featherweight run, Conor was doing his peak trash talk and stuff, he would’ve loved it…and he backed it up, too. That’s a huge thing.”
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Walsh (2-1) meets Isiah Figueroa (1-1) in an amateur bout at 2023 PFL 2 on April 7 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. The 22-year-old recently said he won’t turn pro until he’s ready and his coaches think it’s time.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for 2023 PFL 2.