Conor McGregor’s relevance and status in the sport of MMA has not been under this much threat since his pre-UFC days.
His stardom has transcended the previously modest confines of the MMA community, bringing about the understandable wavering of the formerly crystal-clear focus and drive that helped him hammer his way to sporting greatness.
In his last six fights, he has gone three and three.
In January, a much-anticipated rematch with a Dustin Poirier, who has developed over the years in ways few had predicted, brought McGregor’s comeback from inactivity crashing to a halt. It was particularly notable for the chasm in skill development trajectories that has emerged between the two stars.
Poirier has become a top-level competitor, infinitely superior to the fighter McGregor brushed aside when their UFC careers were in their infancies. McGregor, however, looks to have largely stagnated, and in some aspects, even regressed.
Although his offence still showed glimpses of the McGregor we know and love, his foray into the boxing world looks to have had some negative consequences. Due to the greater earning potential in boxing, he still has one eye on a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor’s training will have been altered in accordance with this idea.
In the Poirier fight, McGregor looked less dynamic and often static. He lacked his signature style of lightning-quick attacks and subtle, measured evasive movements possible by bobbing around the cage on light feet. His lead leg in a boxing match would be safe from lethal, snapping calf kicks, but in MMA, this just isn’t the case.
Poirier brutalised this low hanging fruit and stormed his way to a game-changing victory.
McGregor’s recent UFC record suggests he has likely peaked, and it’s near impossible to peak twice. A loss to Poirier in the upcoming third match may tip Conor over the edge career-wise. He would inevitably be drawn back to exhibition boxing fights, or perhaps fights in the UFC with stars who aren’t real contenders but get bums on seats.
In recent times, a range of scandals, incidents and allegations against McGregor has left him feeling that that he is under attack, especially if his Twitter outbursts are anything to go by. A number of negotiation issues with the UFC and the frustrations that formed as a result has had McGregor dramatically flitting in and out of retirement.
His wealth, status, family life, success in other businesses and flirtation with boxing leads to a feeling that any fight could be his last. Does he really want to receive elbow, knees, kicks and punches from trained killers for much longer when his life is so prosperous outside of MMA?
In recent days, this disconnect has entered into the Poirier rematch. The American revealed on social media that McGregor did not make good on a promise to donate $500,000 to his charity The Good Fight Foundation.
The pair went back and forth on social media, with McGregor claiming that Poirier didn’t respond when he asked for specifics as to where the money would go. Both parties claimed the other was not responding to messages regarding the donation. Eventually, Poirier issued an apology as to his part in the situation and the fight seems to be back on track.
It did feel as though yet another fight falling through would have perhaps been one frustration too far, despite McGregor claiming he would take another opponent for the agreed date.
In the UFC lightweight rankings, McGregor stands at number six, which to most neutral fans would suggest he should not be in the immediate title picture. If you can’t get to the real belt, why not make belts you can’t lose?
McGregor took to Twitter to reveal his idea, stating: “Let's do two belts, actually. Champ Champ always does two. We've got The McGregor Belt currently in creation, and now we've got the all-new RMF belt. The Richest Motherf***** Belt. This way we can put both the rubies and the emeralds to good use.”
Let’s be honest, beating McGregor is more important than winning the lightweight belt, career-wise, to any fighter, such is his stardom. Poirier certainly agreed, as he passed up the chance to fight for the real belt in order to to fight McGregor.
The tongue-in-cheek (we assume) suggestion of fighting for these belts isn’t the worst idea I’ve heard for a humorous point of interest. Nonetheless, I think he’ll have to make the belts himself if he really wants this idea to come into fruition. The UFC surely won’t entertain the idea.News Now - Sport News