In a recent podcast appearance, former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw opened up about being jealous of Conor McGregor’s success and stardom during McGregor’s rise to fame to another UFC legend in Rampage Jackson.
Dillashaw explained that when McGregor was trash talking him onTUF and calling him and his then friend Urijah Faber “a 30-year-old skateboarder”, he was actually quite jealous of the attention and money McGregor was getting.
“McGregor was getting all this attention, getting all this money. I’m jealous as f**k. You know what I mean? And so I’m there front row, like, alright. Aldo’s gonna feed it to him.” Dillashaw said, referring to McGregor’s scheduled fight against featherweight king Jose Aldo at the time.
He continued “But you gotta think about how much work that motherf**ker put in. Not only just on the training aspect of it, But, like, I know what it takes to be champion all the media. You gotta do all the interviews you gotta do. And I was a sliver of what that guy was doing. You know what I mean?”
Dillashaw went on to explain that while he was jealous in the moment, he later realized just how much work McGregor was putting in to build his stardom and hype up his fights.
It’s an honest admission from the former champ, who held the bantamweight belt from 2014-2016 before losing it to Dominick Cruz. Meanwhile, McGregor rose to superstardom and became UFC’s biggest draw during that timeframe.
Bud Dillashaw wasn’t the only one who admitted to jealousy. MMA legend Rampage Jackson admitted he was jealous of Conor McGregor for the freedom of speech he was afforded by the UFC. While discussing McGregor’s meteoric rise and trash-talking style, Rampage explained “I wanted to box, I wanted to make millions of dollars. I didn’t do that. Yeah. He’s he’s done everything in his sport. Make millions.”
He went on to say “And everybody does. And Yeah. But on top of that, I wanted to box, and he didn’t get censored when he talked. I got censored a little bit more. I was told ‘Oh, you gotta bring it down a little bit. You gotta bring it down a little bit.'”
Rampage revealed he was personally told by UFC management to tone down his trash talk and promotional antics. Meanwhile, McGregor was given far more leeway to hype fights without censorship.
“I got told personally. Like from here to here before your time. Crazy. Yeah. I got told personally.” he said.
It’s clear Rampage felt jealous and even slighted by the fact McGregor could get away with outrageous statements and over-the-top trash talk, while he was reprimanded for pushing similar boundaries.
While Rampage recognizes and appreciates McGregor’s talents and promotional brilliance, it understandably bothered him that the UFC stifled his own style and personality during his heyday.
In the end, Rampage gives McGregor full credit for taking MMA mainstream and says “I think he was the best thing for this sport. He took our sport to another level. He made UFC a household name along with himself.”
But the revelation remains – Rampage Jackson was jealous of the preferential treatment and lack of censorship McGregor received from UFC brass during his iconic rise to stardom.