Inspirational quotes are all the trend. If you’re on social media, odds are it won’t take long before friends, strangers, or memes bombard you with unrequested pearls of wisdom.
While none of those quotes were on display during Tuesday night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, that isn’t to imply there weren’t quotes worth sharing.
TUF star Conor McGregor is a walking, talking, breathing quote machine. That was on display during Episode 2. So, in honor of so many people sharing their favorite quotes, here are the top five quotes—straight from McGregor’s lips—uttered on last night’s episode.
5. “They’re not going to leave you without getting your opportunity”
This is a line from McGregor to Trevor Wells, who was not medically cleared to fight Timur Valiev in a bantamweight bout. A cold sore delayed the bout, which will take place during another episode.
Yet the quote also applies to McGregor. Will his fight against Michael Chandler actually take place? After reaching out to 10 ranked UFC fighters, eight stated they do not believe the fight will take place.
Even if we are told otherwise, McGregor’s future beyond The Ultimate Fighter remains a mystery.
4. “It’s tough to beat a tough veteran”
Instead of Wells-Valiev, we were treated to a bout pitting Cody Gibson against McGregor’s top-ranked bantamweight challenger, Mando Gutierrez. McGregor noted how it is difficult to beat a seasoned pro, which is the exact same situation he faces against Chandler.
McGregor is expected to win that fight. But it is a lot different for Chandler. If he defeats McGregor, his fate in MMA will forever change. Entering the bout with far more to lose and a whole lot less to gain is the position in which McGregor finds himself if these two ever fight.
3. “It’s your f------ Octagon. Let it be known from the bell.”
This was brilliant. It was a snippet inside the mind of McGregor. When asked by Gutierrez what he thinks before a fight, McGregor started to ramble, ultimately offering this short-but-meaningful answer about what crosses his mind once he steps inside the cage.
The quote allowed a brief look into an irrational level of confidence, a critical ingredient in McGregor’s rise to global stardom. It also showed a connection between McGregor and Gutierrez, who formed a bond throughout the episode.
2. “I had a lot of fun, it was good. Got a haircut, got freshened up. I let the hair down a little bit, and we had a good time.”
McGregor got a haircut in the TUF house by Gutierrez, where he was able to connect with more of the fighters. Every scene with McGregor sticks out, and this was no exception. Drinking, joking and laughing, McGregor was able to share his energy with both teams.
1. “That’s called an avalanche”
This was from the bonus footage. It is great content, and while it should have been used in the episode, it makes sense why it was not. This is not the McGregor the world is familiar with seeing, nor does it fit his well-crafted image as a world beater. Instead, it shows McGregor at ease with hungry fighters, a place in life with which he was once intimately familiar.
Instead of promoting his next fight or talking trash to an opponent, this was a down-to-earth McGregor pouring a drink and relating with Gutierrez. It built nicely to Gutierrez’s bout, which, unfortunately for Team McGregor, was a disappointment.
McGregor was particularly engaged in Gutierrez’s bout against Gibson, but it made no difference. Gibson’s flying knee to the face of Gutierrez effectively ended the bout, which was stopped in the ensuing moments after a flurry of ground-and-pound. The episode also detailed Gibson’s journey, providing real meaning to the stakes in this bout.
Following the loss, Gutierrez’s words about his unrequited love for the sport were poignant (“I love this game,” he said, holding back tears from a busted and bruised face. “Sometimes it just don’t love me back”) and true. The fight game is cruel and raw and real and beautiful, and as painful as it was for Gutierrez, it was a shining moment for Gibson.
In addition to a compelling fight, the episode was a reminder of the obvious: This show is all about McGregor.