Considering that he’s only won two fights in the UFC, Conor McGregor has enjoyed a speedy rise in popularity since making his promotion debut in April earlier this year. His rapid rise to fame has prompted some speculation within the mixed martial arts community. One of those speculators is UFC middleweight Luke Barnatt.
Barnatt recently made an appearance on The MMA Hour, and accused McGregor of tricking fans into believing he has more Twitter followers than he actually does.
“Paradigm is the management company that I believe that Conor McGregor is under. They have this interesting concept that they believe that your following is depicted by how many people you have on Twitter, so your whole MMA following, if you’ve got followers on Twitter, then obviously you’re a big deal, and they find that easier to go out and get sponsorships and make you look important. So they employ this thing called Tweetbot. You pay a certain amount of money, and you get these fake followers. So they’re built and they’re made by a computer, and they follow certain people.”
Paradigm Sport Management President Audie Attar responded to these allegations on Wednesday via FOX Sports:
“He’s making these baseless accusations and he’s saying he’s 100-percent certain. That’s really dangerous for a professional. The professional in me kicked and I was like who’s poisoning this young kid’s mind? Making him saying some things that could get him in trouble and be bad for him. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
According to Attar, the agency representing Barnatt, Denovo Elite Athlete Management, has tried to steal fighters from him in the past and failed. He suspects that the agency told Barnatt to make these latest accusations out of spite against him.
“I just found that his manager was trying to steal one of my clients, Conor’s teammate Cathal Pendred, and so this timing was really, really weird,”
As for McGregor supposedly having a fake Twitter following, Attar pointed out that there is a website called Twitteraudit.com that shows you whether or not a Twitter account has fake followers. According to FOX Sports, Twitteraudit.com revealed that McGregor and Barnatt had about the same amount of real and fake followers.
“Conor is doing his thing, he has a nation behind him. Nothing is fake, nothing about him is manufactured.”
Considering that McGregor is a featherweight and Barnatt is a middleweight, one has to wonder if Attar’s suspicion of Denovo Elite Athlete Management putting Barnatt up to this is true. Why would a middleweight fighter be concerned about a featherweight’s Twitter following?