Surprise. Surprise. *censored* The king is back.
Those were the words uttered at UFC 202 after Conor McGregor avenged his previous UFC 196 loss to Nate Diaz in their rematch. Before that, Conor was 7-0 at 145 pounds having embarrassed the consensus 145 pound GOAT Jose Aldo in 9 seconds at UFC 194. So naturally McGregor would stay at featherweight and fully clean out the division to prove that he is the real GOAT.
Conor moved two weight classes up and paid for his over confidence by getting submitted by Nate Diaz as mentioned above. So he would move back to featherweight and clean out the division? Nope. He would fight him again, win, and then beat Eddie Alvarez to become the lightweight champion and incidentally the first two division champ in history. We no longer try to predict his career path. It’s chaos.
The point? Since the start of his UFC run he has referred to himself as “the king of the game” or “the king of the division”. It’s always the king, even in promo videos which frequently play the clip of him saying, “The king is back”.
Current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is having none of that “king” talk. He trounced Conor back in 2018 and somehow the Irishman remains a bigger star than the Russian. Even today you can see the disdain about the fact surface in Khabib’s interviews at times if you pay attention. Not a lot but it’s there. However, he appears to be having a little more fun with the rivalry now as evidenced in this video below.
The quote accompanying it has the words, “The king has never left” in it. He also does the Conor McGregor head raise with a sly smile. Can you be any more subtle there Khabib?