Mike Tyson offered advice to Conor McGregor on Monday about how the former UFC champion can change the behavior that has led to legal issues outside of the Octagon.
"Conor has to look inside himself and [say]: 'What happened? Why am I the way I am? And how do I stop this from continuing to be?'" Tyson said on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show.
McGregor was charged last week with assault for allegedly punching a man in a Dublin bar in April. He also was arrested in March in Miami for allegedly smashing a man's cellphone outside a club. Later that month, the New York Times reported that McGregor was under investigation in Ireland for alleged sexual assault.
Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years in prison before returning to boxing.
Speaking in general terms, Tyson, who met McGregor and described him as an "awesome guy," said the problem some athletes face is the inability to cope with sudden fame and fortune.
"We don't know how to handle this stuff," he said. "We got millions of dollars. We never had this. Our families never had this. We've never been around this life.
"All of a sudden you start fighting, doing something you love to do, and you do it easily and all of a sudden they give you a lot of money for doing it. But you have no restraint, no control, you don't know what to do. You give it away. You buy people gifts that don't deserve gifts. You just don't know what to do with it. You feel you don't deserve it."
Tyson said the people surrounding the athletes may be in the same situation and may be equally unaware on how to cope.
"They don't know how to figure it out," he said. "They never had it, either. It's almost like you don't feel deserving of it. I don't deserve this, I'm nobody. How come I deserve this? I would do this for nothing."
Tyson said it's tough to watch the younger version of himself.
"I don't like watching him, but I understand he's me," said Tyson, who joined the MMA show to promote his partnership with the Professional Fighters League, which begins its playoffs this Friday in Las Vegas. "I never close the door on him or forgive him but I never want him in my life again, or around anybody I love.
"Because that's not who I am now. I don't know him anymore. He's almost like a stranger to me. I look at him, and I'm proud of him. And I think he's spectacular. But there's a real dark side there that I don't like getting involved with anymore."
Tyson said that version of himself hasn't surfaced recently, and he called the transition a work in progress.
"It was always a work in progress," he said. "I am that guy. That guy can always show up somewhere if I'm not cautious and control the way I think and my social environments. I haven't felt that experience [of that guy emerging] yet."