If you were wondering whether Conor McGregor would be trying to insert himself into the mixed martial arts (MMA) conversation during UFC 254, it’s clear at this point that the answer is, “Yes.”
The former “champ champ” and essential UFC superstar has been sidelined for almost all of 2020 because of COVID-19 and a seeming inability for his management and UFC brass to get on the same page. A rematch between McGregor and Dustin Poirier is currently being negotiated for Jan. 24, 2021, but isn’t certain by any means as Conor and UFC President, Dana White, continue to publicly disagree about every aspect of the proposed bout.
The latest snag: McGregor wants the Poirier fight at 170. White insists it’s meaningless at Welterweight and must happen at 155 pounds. White is trying to shepherd McGregor along into a position where Khabib Nurmagomedov will actually rematch him, which is obviously the biggest money fight in the sport right now. And that’s not happening without another win at Lightweight.
But, Khabib seems pretty insistent that he’s not interested in fighting McGregor again at all, and why would he want to after all the No. 1 bulls**t he dealt with the first time around?
And it seems like McGregor is intent on reminding everyone how insufferable he was/is regarding Khabib, insisting he practically won their first fight. Now, he’s crowing about a clearly illegal knee he got away with in their first fight, one that could have changed the entire complexion of the fight and cost Nurmagomedov the win.
The knee into the eye socket was illegal yes, from this position. A beauty tho. Never before seen shot. Like many of my shots.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 22, 2020
I use the mount defence leg as a spring board, loading the knee below it. Release and straight to the eye socket. Smashed it in! @joerogan. Hey Dana pic.twitter.com/qZAcbbuIHS
This strike should not be illegal. Should actually be enshrined! Look at him cower his head after it and keep it tucked. Kept honest! Guy is latched onto my arm not letting go. Everything bar biting and gouging should be permitted here. Are we fighting or what are we doing here?— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 22, 2020
@JohnMcCarthyMMA what do you think Big John? Should this strike be legalized?— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 22, 2020
Mr. tasty shots
This is clearly “The Notorious” in pure heel mode, but as any pro wrestler worth their salt knows, there’s a time to be a heel and time to be a face. McGregor’s heel game is getting more and more tired the longer he stays out of the cage. And he needs all the pull from fans he can get if he hopes to get an inch of leverage he once had in this new landscape where UFC is surging along wildly without him.
As amusing as “Mr. Tasty Shots” thinks he is, maybe don’t highlight how you’ll continue to be a jerk and cheat in the cage when trying to land a rematch against your biggest rival? We’ll see what tone he decides to set over UFC 254 weekend.
For some reason we don’t expect him to “go high.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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