UFC matchmakers aren’t the only ones giving Marcus Brimage (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) a hard time. Conor McGregor (12-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fans don’t like him much, either.
“Dude, they’re all over my Facebook, talking about how he’s going to whip my ass,” Brimage told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I’m like, ‘Hey, can’t we be just a little bit more respectful?’”
The answer is no, judging by the flack Brimage gets whenever he logs on to his fan page in advance of his meeting with McGregor at UFC on FUEL TV 9, which takes place Saturday at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena. (Brimage vs. McGregor serves on the Facebook-streamed prelims of the fight card in advance of main-card fights on FUEL TV.)
“I go to my page and put a picture up, and they say, ‘Oh, Conor is going to own your ass,’” he said. “Dude, you liked my page just to tell me that s—? That’s a lot of trouble to do that.”
Brimage, who’s won three straight inside the octagon, said it’s the first time he’s encountered trash talk in his UFC career, which kicked off with an appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter 14.” He said his first post-TUF opponent, Jim Hettes, was nothing but respectful. His next, Maximo Blanco, didn’t speak English, so that took care of any verbal jabs.
But McGregor, who makes his octagon debut after a spectacular run in the Cage Warriors promotion, where he won titles at featherweight and lightweight, is a different story. He was respectful when the two bumped into each this week, Brimage noted. But the Irishman has vocal fans who apparently do his dirty work for him.
“They have officially popped my cherry,” Brimage said.
Add to that Brimage’s perception that he’s always being cast as a stepping stone to up-and-comers, and the fact that he’s an underdog in current betting lines, and there’s no shortage of fuel for his fire.
“This is the fourth time I’ve been the underdog,” he said. “I’m the underdog to a guy who’s never fought in the UFC. Granted, he’s a double champion. At the same time, the UFC is supposed to be the Super Bowl of mixed martial arts. How the hell are you going to come from (junior college) to Division I and you get all the hype?”
On Saturday, he aims to issue a correction to McGregor’s surging stock while boosting his.
“That’s all that really concerns me is keeping this win streak alive,” Brimage said.
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