Conor McGregor pays respects to tragic MMA fighter Joao Carvalho while slating critics

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

The Notorious has paid his respects to the Portuguese fighter, while suggesting it is now 'easy for those on the outside' to criticise contact sport.

Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor has posted a statement following the news of Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho's tragic death.

The Dubliner stated that the figther's untimely passing away "while competing for a chance at a better life" is "heartbreaking".

McGregor has also suggested that is now easy for critics of MMA, and contact sport generally, to criticise combat sport following this tragic incident as well as the horrendous injuries sustained by boxer Nick Blackwell which put him into a week-long coma.

McGregor's coach John Kavangh, who also coaches Charlie Ward who fought Carvalho on Saturday night, earlier paid tribute to the tragic fighter.

Ward's father has also spoken out following the sad death of Carvalho.

The UFC featherweight title-holder's statement read: "Terrible news regarding Joao Carvalho. 

"To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking. 

"We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don't know how to take this.

"I was ringside supporting my teammate, and the fight was so back and forth, that I just can't understand it.

"My condolences go out to Joao's family and his team. Their man was a hell of a fighter and will be sorely missed by all. 

"Combat sport is a crazy game and with the recent incident in boxing and now this in MMA, it is a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan. 

"It is easy for those on the outside to criticise our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow. We have lost one of us.

"I hope we remember Joao as a champion, who pursued his dream doing what he loved, and show him the eternal respect and admiration he deserves.

"Rest in peace, Joao."