“UFC, I can’t stand,” the Taken actor, 70, said in an interview for the Men’s Health series “Don’t Read the Comments,” released on Thursday, February 2. “That, to me, is like a bar fight. And I know the practitioners all say, ‘No, you’re wrong! The moths of training we do!’ Why don’t you just grab a beer bottle and hit the other guy over the head? That’s the next stage from UFC. I f-—king hate it.”
He was responding to a fan question who noted Neeson’s boxing history and wondered if Neeson enjoyed the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Conor McGregor. The Ireland native was an amateur boxer from ages 9 to 17, but he clearly doesn’t care for either the organization or the athlete. He went on to diss the 34-year-old mixed martial arts champ.
“That little leprechaun Conor McGregor, oh please. He gives Ireland a bad name,” Neeson said. “I know he’s fit, and I admire him for that. But I can’t take it.”
The Oscar winner joked about eventually having McGregor confront him. “Next time I come in the Dublin airport, [he’ll say] ‘Neeson, I’ll f–king show you,’” the Batman Begins star said.
Neeson doesn’t have any plans to get back in the ring. When asked if he’d rather return to his boxing gig or his job as a Guinness factory worker, he chose the latter. “I’d say the Guinness Factory, actually,” he revealed. “Driving a forklift truck, yeah. having a couple of beers of a Friday evening after you wrap. I’m sorry, not wrap, quit work. Clock out.”
The actor is leaning away from action films as well. He said he doesn’t have any interest in making Taken 4 or joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Neeson previously explained that he planned to dial back his stunt-heavy roles. “There’s a couple more I’m going to do this year — hopefully, COVID allowing us — there’s a couple in the pipeline and, then I think that will probably be it,” he told Entertainment Tonight in January 2021.
“I love doing them,” he added, explaining that the fight scenes have taken a toll on him. “I love beating up guys half my age. … I’ve just finished one in Australia and I had a fight scene with a kid — lovely, sweet actor called Taylor — and halfway through the fight I looked up, I was breathless and it didn’t cost him a cent, and I said, ‘Taylor, what age are you?’ He said, ’25.’ I said, ‘That’s the age of my eldest son!’”