Conor McGregor stirred up a lot of controversy in the lead-up to UFC 202 when he started aiming insults at professional wrestling, and WWE wrestlers specifically, and ex-WWE wrestler CM Punk thinks McGregor really struck a nerve.
“A lot of feelings were hurt, though, I can tell you that much, which I thought was a little strange,” Punk said, via MMA Fighting. “You’ve gotta leave the emotion out of it. These guys still don’t know.”
A minority of the wrestlers who responded in some fashion seemed to perceive McGregor’s comments as a means of publicity and a work on the wrestlers, but a lot who responded appeared to take the comments very seriously.
Wrestlers of new and old took umbrage, from A.J. Styles, to Brock Lesnar, to Ric Flair.
“I don’t know what to say to Ric Flair,” McGregor said. “This ain’t no gimmick. This is the real sh-t. I’ve gotta get in and fight a man for real. With no script, with no nothing. He was talking about bringing some other wrestler guys out to challenge me. Come bring it, then. This is the real shit over here. You want to come over, we can fight no problem. A few of them are talking about the street and all. If they want to do that, come at me and see what happens.”
Punk simply said he did not care about McGregor’s comments.
“It’s a hard thing to comment on, because the amount of people who responded to him made me feel like they were told to respond to him,” Punk said. “[McGregor is] the biggest name in sports at the moment. There’s always grey areas when you involve that whole scene and you’re wondering, is this a work, is this not a work?”