As we draw closer to UFC 246 Conor McGregor is starting to slowly become a bigger voice in the MMA world once again. Between 2014 and 2016 we all very much got used to Mystic Mac’s predictions, the proclamations he would make that at first sounded ludicrous but began to seem more and more plausible as time went by. At some point the notion of McGregor taking on Floyd Mayweather seemed absolutely ridiculous, then suddenly it was all very real and began to unfold in front of us.
Yet now, looking at his latest claims, it’s hard to see the same level of plausibility that we became familiar with during his peak back in 2016. While McGregor was sitting on top of the Octagon, holding two belts in the air, it seemed as though anything he said would be achievable – how could we not believe him?
Since then, however, the illusion has been shattered. While few people believed that he would beat Mayweather, that loss went to show that sometimes things went exactly how we would expect. The same thing came around again when the Irishman faced off against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title and was soundly beaten. McGregor doesn’t have that same aura about him that he held back in the glory days.
It also doesn’t help his case that he makes ridiculous comments about Khabib such as these “He is trembling. That man is trembling. He doesn’t want it. He doesn’t want it. You get it and he’s trying not to lose it again. I just smell shit. That’s all it is. He’s afraid and that’s it.”*
These are comments made about a man who is currently undefeated in the Octagon and has beaten pretty much every top contender that his division has to offer. It is a man who dominated McGregor for almost every second of their fight, a man who is supposed to be weaker on the feet and yet still managed to knock the former champ down and never really look in any serious danger.
Sure, we can all sit and argue that if McGregor had trained better and actually stuck to the gameplan that his coaches put in place for him, he may have actually made a decent showing of himself. However in no universe is Khabib scared of a rematch, just like many other fans, he sees no point as to why McGregor should get another chance at the belt after their first fight.
Then we move on to his claims that he is interested in fighting Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, making a run for the title at 170lbs, a division we’ve seen him struggle to make proper weight with in the past. Not only is McGregor at his absolute max size when he competes at welterweight, but he would be taking on guys that wouldn’t look out of place in the division above, it’s absolute insanity to suggest that he could even come close to landing shots that could damage any of the top guys in that division.
I may be reading too much into this, he may still be making the same type of insane calls and predictions that he was making back in 2016, however as mentioned earlier, the key now is that he doesn’t have that same magical aura around him. People know that he can be beaten and beaten soundly, we’ve seen it happen on a couple of occasions. Calling out guys like Usman, to anyone who follows the sport closely enough, just seems ridiculous.
Who knows how long McGregor will be around in the UFC following his return in January. If he picks up the win over Donald Cerrone (which he should) then it’ll be interesting to see who he faces next and if any of these predictions come true.
*Comments were taken from an interview with The Mac Life.