Gallen: McGregor's antics wouldn't fly in Australia

Conor McGregor cemented his place as MMA’s undisputed king by knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, but the Irishman’s brash talk and sharp suits wouldn’t fly in Australia, says Paul Gallen.

Speaking exclusively to Sporting News cageside at Madison Square Garden ahead of a historic night of fights, Gallen said the tall poppy syndrome that pervades Australian sport would quickly put any McGregor-like character back in his place.

Case in point: Jarryd Hayne.

“Being at the top of the NRL, it’s sometimes a little bit disappointing because I saw the way Jarryd Hayne spoke when he came back and it was all very much about himself – I didn’t mind it,” said Gallen.

“I thought it was confidence, but other people take it the wrong way.

“Sport in America and sport in Australia is so different because of that.

“We have a real tall poppy syndrome in Australia. It keeps people grounded in some respect, but it’s also not ideal in other respects.”

Gallen will step into the boxing ring for the sixth time to fight Junior Paulo later this month, but says there’s little chance he’ll be able to bring the same brash approach as McGregor.

“He’s very charismatic, Conor, he knows how to get the crowd going and I suppose that’s why there’s going to be tens of thousands of people here tonight because he’s the boss at the moment,” the Premiership winning captain said.

“I just love the way McGregor carries on. I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t. I’d love to be as out there and loose as he is, but it’s pretty tough to do.

“It definitely wouldn’t fly in Australia, but if anyone could do it, it’d be Conor McGregor.

“It’s tall poppy syndrome and Haynesy’s said nothing wrong at all and I praise him for what he’s done.

“And it’s not just rugby league, it’s all sports, everything in life. It’s just the way it is.”