The timeline for Conor McGregor’s UFC career is pretty straightforward. Surging up and comer destroys featherweight division. Wins interim belt. Obliterates the consensus GOAT Jose Aldo in 9 seconds to become undisputed champ. Moves up and captures lightweight title. First person to hold two division titles simultaneously.
Then it gets hazy. In no particular order. Punches an old man in a bar. Violently attacks a bus and injures passengers inside. Boxes and loses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Loses badly to Khabib Nurmagomedov after relentlessly talking trash. There is more but that is enough to prove it was a dumpster fire for a while.
So why come back?
Most athletes I know who once occupied the spotlight miss that most of all. The attention and relevance is more addictive for them than the money. Keeping it real here no matter what he says I would say that is part of the equation.
The Irishman told ESPN it’s his inactivity mixed with the love of the competition. He feels like moving up is also a bonus because of the number of potential opponents and choices therein. Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal have both stated publicly that they are waiting.
Check out all of what Conor said in this ESPN clip ahead of Saturday’s UFC 246 bout with Cowboy Cerrone.