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Michael Bisping: The old Conor McGregor ‘doesn’t exist any more’

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Can “Notorious” go back in time and re-ignite the fire he had when he was starting out? Not according to UFC great Michael Bisping.

Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor Press Conference - SSE Arena Photo by Scott Heavey/PA Images via Getty Images

Has Conor McGregor gone soft?

That’s the opinion of one Michael Bisping, who knows more than a little bit about being young, angry and full of piss and vinegar. And then becoming older, richer and less reliant on the paycheck from every upcoming fight.

“The Conor McGregor of old is just like the me of old — it doesn’t exist anymore,” Bisping said in a recent interview with TalkSport. “I’m a nice guy, I’m a pussy cat, but I used to be a bit of a nightmare. With Conor McGregor, it’s the same thing. The man’s loaded. He’s pulling up on $100 million yachts and got $1 million watches. He gets chauffeured in Rolls Royces.

“Evander Holyfield said, ‘it’s hard to get out and run at 6 a.m. when you’re sleeping in silk sheets,’” he continued. “Fighters, we’re hungry and want to turn it around. Maybe we’re cut from the same type of cloth or the wrong side of town. We like to fight and that’s our only hope. The dream is to make some money and turn your life around, he’s done that in a big way and he’s never going to go skint.”

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“That’s not an insult, that’s just the reality of the situation. It doesn’t mean he can’t go out there and have a great performance and win, because he can. It’s going to be a tough fight, though.”

That doesn’t mean Bisping doesn’t think McGregor can win. He’s just got to overcome not only the lack of motivation that comes with being a multimillionaire and the mind games that come with just being knocked out for the first time in his career.

McGregor is set to return at UFC 264 on July 10, 2021, against Dustin Poirier for a third time in a series that saw each man knock the other out.

“I think the psychological battle goes to Poirier, though, as he just knocked him out. I respect Conor McGregor for stepping in there like that,” Bisping said. “I’ve been knocked out in this sport before, the next time you fight there’s some psychological demons there. Conor is stepping in straight away against the person who knocked him out cold. I admire his courage there. It will be interesting to see how the fight turns out.”

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 264: “McGregor vs. Poirier 3” fight card click here.