There was a time when Conor McGregor, who is now amongst the highest paid athletes in the world, was well respected in his field.
Now though, he’s largely seen as a laughingstock in spite of his staggering net worth. Here we look at his journey.
McGregor was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland in July 1988. The man who is now known as ‘Notorious’ has always had passion for physical activity with the fighter first trying his hand at football. At the age of 12 he found boxing.
It wasn’t until after switching the city of Dublin for the quieter suburbs of Lucan – a 20 minute drive from the centre – that he would find his love of MMA. That’s something that developed off the back of a friendship with Tom Egan.
At 18, McGregor had his first fight. It proved to be his only amateur event as he breezed past his opponent before being snapped up by the Irish Ring of Truth promotion. Six years later, Dana White signed him to the UFC.
Making a name for himself
McGregor didn’t waste much time in building a reputation for himself. He blitzed his opening fight against Marcus Brimage and showed little sign of slowing up as he won his opening seven bouts with just one of them going the distance. McGregor was here to stay.
When he walked away from the UFC in 2016, he was widely considered to be one of the best fighters with his only loss coming courtesy of a Nate Diaz submission. His record read as 21-3-0. Not bad.
The beginning of a circus
McGregor used his big mouth to whip up a storm outside of MMA circles. The sole aim was to create an interest in his desire to try his hand at boxing. It worked, he talked his way to a money spinning bout with Floyd Mayweather.
The fight build up was ludicrous. McGregor was talking trash, Mayweather was talking trash. It was laughable.
McGregor had never boxed at even a half decent amateur level and there he was saying he’d bounce Mayweather’s head off the canvas. The guy is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter for goodness sake.
Of course, Mayweather, who is nicknamed ‘Money’, lapped it up. He was due for a payday of at least – yes, at least – $100m with most predicting he’d double that tally with PPV cash added to the purse.
As expected, after talking himself up throughout the build-up, McGregor entered the ring with Mayweather only to be teased. The Irish fighter started brightly only to fade and be picked off with ease by Mayweather. Any positives of McGregor’s early performance was soon gone too as his opponent revealed it was the game plan all along knowing the inexperienced and rash headed McGregor would tire far too soon.
A rough return to UFC
After his much predicted loss to Mayweather, McGregor plotted a move back to a more familiar shape of ring. The route he took was shameless. The worst of it was probably the infamous bus attack after UFC 223 that led to McGregor getting slapped with assault charges.
The target of that outburst was Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘Notorious’ was known to have been angered by Nurmagomedov’s decision to intimidate Artem Lobov – a close friend to McGregor – a few days earlier.
After a few months of petty jibes and plenty of insults the pair fought. McGregor’s weakness on the canvas came to the fore as Nurmagomedov beat him with a neck crank. It was a crushing blow to a man with an ego the size of McGregor’s.
An Instagram post by the fighter said he would ‘be back’ but six months later he announced his retirement; even that was dubbed a publicity stunt though.
That’s how it proved too because he’s since fought – and beat – Donald Cerrone. Another retirement announcement has been made. Still, the world is dubious whether it’s genuine or not.
Chasing the cash – again
Here we reach the crux of the matter. It’s why I’ll never hold McGregor in the regard his MMA record probably deserves. He isn’t about dominating the UFC. He is just about lining his pockets. I’ll give you just a few examples.
First, he keeps attempting to fire shots at Mayweather for a rematch. It’s not because he thinks he’d win. He wouldn’t. What he would get though is a handsome purse. The other boxing match that has been muted is a bout with Manny Pacquiao. Again, it’s not a fight McGregor has a chance of winning in the square ring.
Throw into the mix that YouTuber Jake Paul wants to arrange a boxing match with McGregor and he really is scraping the barrel for a pay day.
Here you have our opinion on why McGregor’s legacy is underwhelming, compared to the other names on the sport, as the already mentioned Khabib. And if you really like MMA, take your chances and learn how to bet clicking here: https://extra.betamerica.com/mma/how-to-bet-on-mma/
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