Conor McGregor has endured a tough time of it in the Octagon of late, losing two of his last three fights, most recently a KO defeat at the hands of American, Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 in January.
The Irishman, whose fight style has changed dramatically from a karate base to a box-first approach in recent bouts, has struggled with energy conservation, leg kicks, wrestling, and has been accused of lacking heart by some fans.
Then there are those who feel the hunger simply isn’t there anymore.
The UFC’s first ‘champ-champ’ disagrees, of course, and is looking forward to a trilogy fight with Poirier in the near future:
“Hats off! A well-fought fight by The Diamond. 1 apiece now with a Trilogy bout for all the marbles! Wow! Exciting!
“Not a trilogy I was expecting, nor the tactical affair I was anticipating, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t meant to be. This is exactly how this was always meant to be! Buzzing!!”
One person who does not think McGregor is best suited for another return to the octagon is former Heavyweight boxing champion, George Foreman.
In a recent interview with the Daily Star, the American advised McGregor to ditch MMA in favour of a boxing career and even championed the potential bout between the Irishman and the fighting pride of the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao somewhere down the road, stating:
“It’s hard for McGregor to accept it but he’s a better puncher than he is in MMA. I’d rather see him in boxing matches now.
I think if he has a fight with Pacquiao he can actually beat him – good rules, over 10 rounds, McGregor can beat him.
“He’s already adjusted to boxing, he’s not going to do good in MMA anymore. Pacquiao is very good as a matter of fact, but McGregor can beat him in a boxing match.”
There’s no doubting that McGregor has some of the best boxing skills in the UFC.
His right jab, left-cross has sent numerous opponents to the canvas over the years, so, – as much as purists might want to – it’s hard to completely disregard his chances in the squared circle vs. Pacquiao.
McGregor’s only other trip to the squared circle may have ended in a 10th round TKO defeat to Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, but ‘Money’ has never lost a fight and also holds a W over Pacquiao who he bested in a routine points victory in 2015.
As such, a fight between McGregor and Pacquiao does actually make a lot of sense, with perhaps the winner getting another crack at Mayweather?
One man who absolutely won’t agree with George Foreman’s recent comments about McGregor is UFC President, Dana White who had this to say in a recent interview with ESPN:
“The way that this kid (McGregor) is right now mentally, physically, emotionally, I mean this kid is on and ready to fight.
“I would love to see him focused on what he can do here at the UFC. Whether it’s take another shot at that title against Khabib (Nurmagomedov), or fight for the title against somebody else if Khabib retires and defend that title.”
Hardly a surprise that the UFC president would want to hang on to his prized asset.
Not that it matters all that much: McGregor has a long and storied history of doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, so don’t be surprised to see him boxing Pacquiao sooner rather than later, with or without the boss’s consent.