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13th Jan 2017

The real reason Conor McGregor’s stunning UFC 205 victory speech was censored

McGregor had a lot he wanted to get off his chest.

Patrick McCarry

I just want to say from the bottom of my heart I’d like to take this chance to apologise… to absolutely nobody!”

It was one of the most famous speeches in recent MMA history but Irish and English fight fans missed out on much of it.

Conor McGregor had just dismantled Eddie Alvarez to claim the UFC lightweight crown and make history by holding two world titles at the same time.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan grabbed three minutes’ of McGregor’s time and it was a compelling, entertaining watch.

Clip: Ultimate Fighting Championship (via YouTube)

It was from the heart, it was humble, it was brash, grateful, great and full of curses. A swirl of contradictions and call-outs. So it went:

“Where the fuck is my second belt!?!? Where’s the second at?! Cheap motherfuckers. Go backstage and grab that fucking belt from somewhere. I only won it and you’re trying to take it from me already. What the fuck!”.

“They’re not on my level. You’ve got to have size, reach, length and other attributes. If you come at me anyway, I’m going to rip your whole head off at anytime. Eddie is a solid competitor. Eddie’s a warrior, but he shouldn’t have been in here with me”.

“Thanks everyone for coming out, I fucking love everyone of you, I swear to god. You’ve travelled the world with me. You’re the reason why we’re at the top of the game, because of me and because of you.”

“What’s next for me? I’m gonna get that second belt. Where the fuck is it!?!? I’ve spent a lot of time Joe, slating everyone in the company. Backstage, I’m standing here and fighting off everybody. I’ve ridiculed everyone on the roster and I just want to say from the bottom of my heart I’d like to take this chance to apologise to absolutely nobody!”

Fans watching that post-fight interview on eir and BT Sport found themselves frustrated when they missed some of McGregor’s best lines.

One reddit user got in touch with BT Sport to ask why some post-fight interviews are censored while others are not. The response from the broadcaster was entirely reasonable. In part, it read:

‘During the UFC post-fight interviews we had to remove the offensive language used in order to comply with the requirements of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

‘Strong language can appear on television providing it airs after the watershed begins (at 9pm); however, the watershed ends at 5:30am. When the interview takes place after this time, when children could be watching, we had no alternative but to obscure the many expletives used.

‘We acknowledge that this response won’t fully alleviate your concerns. However we would like to assure you that we take our responsibility as a broadcaster very seriously and this includes adhering to Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code.’

That means there would be a slight ‘live’ broadcasting delay to ensure no fighter adds to the vocabulary of young minds out there waiting for the cartoons to kick off.

As UFC 205 ran past 5:30am [Irish and British time], the McGregor speech was censored.

It is unfortunate that viewers here may miss out on genuine interview gold but one can understand where BT are coming from.