Strongest Hint Yet That Conor McGregor Will Fight Again
Every sport has its characters, those who can end up becoming more famous for their activities away from the sport that made them famous than for their actual performances. In the NFL there’s Johnny Manzeil, soccer has Wayne Rooney and even the gentleman’s sport of cricket found itself engrossed in the off-field antics of Australia’s Steve Smith and England’s Ben Stokes.
Yet in the world of fighting, where being larger than life is all part of the deal, everything it hitched up a notch. From Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather, boxing has certainly seen its fair share of these types of characters. Yet Conor McGregor is arguably the most controversial of them all.
The story so far
21 MMA wins in 25 fights is a record to be proud of, but that alone is not sufficient to explain why McGregor is the one UFC fighter that everyone has heard of, in the same way that those with no interest in boxing know Tyson, or people who never watch NFL have heard of Montana.
Even the so-called Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History was instantly forgettable. In fact, it is the litany of misadventures and controversies away from the octagon or ring that has imprinted McGregor’s name in everyone’s consciousness. From the brawl at Bellator 187 in 2017 to the most recent allegations of McGregor punching a member of the public in a Dublin pub earlier this year, he just can’t stay away from the headlines.
A UFC return
While there’s some truth in the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, those who love the sport would agree that McGregor’s increasingly unhinged antics do not make him the best ambassador for MMA. Everyone would prefer to see him channeling that aggression within UFC, from fans to the general public, who would almost certainly be prepared to explore UFC and MMA Betting for the first time if McGregor made a comeback.
That possibility has seemed all the more likely over recent weeks. It’s over a year since McGregor’s last fight, when Khabib Nurmagomedov summarily dismissed the Irishman in four rounds at UFC 229. McGregor has been talking up a rematch ever since, and confirmed via his Instagram account that he is fit and ready to return to the Octagon before the year is out.
With all the history, it is easy to forget that McGregor is still only 31, so time is on his side. However, with Nurmagomedov expected to defend his title against Tony Ferguson in the coming months, a shot at regaining the belt from the champion seems to be off the table right now. Realistically, it seems more likely that the man from Dublin will take on someone like Dustin Poirier, against whom Nurmagomedov successfully defended his title in September.
If he comes through that, a face-off against the winner of the Nurmagomedov v. Ferguson encounter will become a real possibility. One thing is certain, the whole world will be watching, and it will be a step in the right direction to see McGregor hitting the headlines for the right reasons.