Don’t expect Conor McGregor to be out of action for too long.
Having only competed twice in the past 17 months, it appears former dual-champ McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) is looking to get back to action sooner rather than later.
Following his loss to current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, McGregor took a 15-month layoff before returning with a 40-second finish over Donald Cerrone at January’s UFC 246, dazzling fans with yet another incredible finish.
Whether it’s the buildup to a fight or the fight itself, there’s nothing quite like a McGregor fight week. The Irish superstar even managed to try his hand at boxing in a valiant effort against undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Justin Gaethje’s name has been tossed out as a potential next opponent for McGregor, with his coaches expressing interest in the matchup. McGregor hasn’t committed to his next move yet but says the opponent doesn’t matter. His focus is all about putting on a show – whether in the octagon or a boxing ring.
“What the fans, and frankly the fighters, don’t want is a dull fight or a dull lead up to a fight,” McGregor told Bleacher Report. “I enjoy every aspect, and the fans deserve to see and hear the real me. I am very passionate and eager to please the fans and win for them and my family. I am willing to fight anyone and have proved that time and time again. I look for a good scrap, and if it isn’t going to be that, I have no interest.
“The money is not why I do this. I am a very rich man, and my children and those that come after them will be just fine. I love the fight game. I learned many things boxing in Crumlin where I grew up, and my deep love is why I do this today. I will be in the octagon again soon and fully expect to box again. You will need to stay tuned, but trust me – the fans will enjoy. Giving them what they want and entertaining them is important to me.”
Many questioned McGregor’s passion for the sport in preparation for his fight with Nurmagomedov, but he assures that his mindset has completely changed since then.
“I will admit that the fight before UFC 246, I did not train properly and was not in perfect condition,” McGregor said. “Call it what you want. I am hungry today. Hungry like a man who has not eaten for weeks. … When I set my mind to something, there is nothing I cannot accomplish. It is that power of belief that makes up the winners.”
“I will simply say I was not fully prepared. It proves that anything can happen in the fight game. You can trust that I will not make the same mistakes next time. I came out well, and in an instant, things changed. It’s as simple as that.”
Outside of the cage, his Proper No. Twelve whiskey has been scattered all over supermarkets, bars, billboards, and canvases, and was also a sponsor of the much-anticipated heavyweight championship rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, proving McGregor’s penchant for success both inside and outside the octagon.
Of course, it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. After all, it’s been a challenging year for McGregor, who’s had to deal with multiple misconduct accusations and a handful of legal issues, but he insists he doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
“It is not easy being in the public eye, but I love being around people, as it gives me great energy,” McGregor said. “I plan on being around for a long time inside the octagon, boxing ring, and well beyond my fighting career.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/03/conor-mcgregor-in-ufc-again-soon-fully-expects-to-box-again/