McGregor appears on the cover of Men’s Health magazine. In the interview he talks about how Carvalho’s death affected him.
How do I feel? How would you feel? It’s f**ked up. I wasn’t just watching that fight. I helped train a guy to kill someone, and then someone wound up dying. This is a f**king dangerous game. People call it a sport, but it’s fighting. I’m just making sure it ain’t me. And that’s f**ked up. Damn. I still can’t believe that kid is dead.
In an interview with ESPN, McGregor says he was deeply affected by the death of Carvalho.
I had f—— journalists knocking down my mother’s door, you know what I mean? That’s not what I signed up to do — have people knocking on my mother’s door, talking about a kid dying. It’s not nice to see a kid die like that. It does something to you. And there’s been show after show canceled in Ireland since that. It’s f—– up to be a part of it, and I didn’t want to bring it back up and put it more on a public scale. After all that, I did not want to be put in front of a camera and made to dance. I just wasn’t feeling it.
McGregor writes a tribute to Carvalho:
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.
Carvalho is taken ill 20 minutes after the Ward fight. After undergoing emergency brain surgery, he dies at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. His manager:
The Nobrega team is here to confirm the passing of Joao Carvalho, which happened last night at Beaumont Hospital, in Dublin, at 21.35. It’s with great consternation and sadness that we write these words, informing you that the athlete died after 48 hours in a critical state. During the TEF-MMA event, which took place on Saturday at the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin, during which all safety regulations were observed, and after a fight during which the referee followed all the rules, [Carvalho] was taken ill, around 20 minutes after the end of the fight. Still in the stadium, he was immediately helped by the medical team present and afterwards was quickly transported to Beaumont Hospital, where he underwent brain surgery. After that, he remained in a critical state for 48 hours until passing away on Monday. Despite the non-stop medical assistance given by staff at the event and at the hospital – who we thank for their support during these difficult moments – and despite knowing the risks of this sport, the death of Joao Carvalho was, in my view, a huge tragedy, which leaves his family and the Nobrega team, which was with him for his whole career, during which he stood out on a national and international level.
Speaking before the death of Carvalho, McGregor says the fight with Ward should have been stopped earlier.
My teammate Charlie had a good win just there. Hell of a fight. Your man took some big shots. Thought it could have been stopped a little earlier. I feel these referee’s need to be on the ball a little bit…To see the way it’s all progressed, the regulations and everything, all the medical staff and everything. It’s proper now. To see this is great.
Ward defeats Carvalho with a TKO at the Total Extreme Fighting at National Stadium, Dublin. Conor McGregor is in attendance, supporting Ward, his teammate as SBG.