That Conor McGregor’s star power as a professional fighter is at the crossroads, is no subject for a debate. Photo: Reuters
That Conor McGregor’s star power as a professional fighter is at the crossroads, is no subject for a debate. Photo: Reuters

Conor McGregor’s Rocky 3 moment may need favour from gods

By Opinion Time of article published Jan 31, 2021

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By Julian Kiewietz

That Conor McGregor’s star power as a professional fighter is at the crossroads, is no subject for a debate.

When you consider that the global mixed martial arts superstar has fought in the octagon on four occasions in the last six years with a record of 2-2 and one of those victories coming over a waning 37-year-old Donald Cerrone - who is 0-4 excluding one draw-turnedno-contest in his last five fights - you begin to ask questions.

How badly does he still want to be a mixed martial artist? One more loss could break The Notorious aura that once was.

ALSO READ: ’Hurt, heartbroken’ Conor McGregor ponders future after knockout shock

He doesn’t need to fight any longer. Yes, relevance within the combat arena helps all his ventures, but with a net worth of 48 million US dollars (as per Forbes), Conor is set for life.

The former plumber turned double UFC champ helped build the UFC with all his accomplishments, and still plays a huge role in the increase of fighters’ purses.

He spoke of his hunger to come back, stating that the highlight reels he wants to continue building will eclipse the money one day.

But if he wants to build on his fame in the octagon, he needs to put in the hours. There are so many athletes - who don’t have major brands to attend to - chasing the Conor McGregor express. They do it through endless hours in the octagon and the gym. With all that he has going on, one wonders how much he invests into fighting.

ALSO READ: ’Tough to swallow’ as Dustin Poirier floors Conor McGregor at UFC 257

Both Conor and his coaches spoke of putting on something spectacular against Dustin Poirier. I had an inkling that Dustin would finish him in the middle rounds, despite Mystic Mac’s prediction of ending Dustin within 60 seconds.

Take nothing away from Dustin, he had the perfect gameplan. But

the manner in which Conor was dispatched in comparison to the hype his camp built was concerning.

I too believe that Conor’s new boxing approach was to his detriment. He seemed stiff and ‘stuck in the mud’.

What happened to the flowing Capoeira kid who controlled range so beautifully? The boxing approach may be part of his Manny Pacquiao plans. But this is still mixed martial arts, Conor. So until then, please get back with the program, Sir.

More importantly, his inactivity - which he noted - is of concern. Dustin fought double the number of times that Conor did since 2018 and at this level, you need octagon time to keep your vibrations high.

We also know that, aside from his incredible fight IQ, he built his brand on his mental warfare capabilities beating opponents before the bell sounds, much to the appreciation of the UFC and its Pay-Per-View buys.

He has toned down the theatrics and bad demeanour. I even missed him pantomiming the billion-dollar strut. That roar at the ceremonial weigh-ins even felt empty.

It’s time to bare himself and just reveal the mixed martial artist who once was “obsessed, not talented” building his way up the Lightweight division selling Pay-Per-Views with his skill.

He should not even think of a

Manny fight until he overcomes the Charles Oliveiras and Justin Gaethjes before taking on the Trilogy fights with Dustin and Nate.

Because, as Floyd Mayweather said, how relevant will you be if you can’t even win in your own sport?

Dana White said this is Conor’s Rocky 3 moment. His chance to get it back after his star has been shaded. It is time for Conor to show the world why he deserves all the spoils the sport gave him by spoiling the sport and fans again. Give us The Notorious martial artist back.

Plus, it would make fine highlight reel tales to regale his grandkids with while he sits around the fire with a Proper in his infamous left hand.

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