clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kamaru Usman: Conor McGregor is ‘done as a champion’

Conor McGregor court case Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images

Despite always being one fight away from a title shot, Conor McGregor’s time as a mixed martial arts (MMA) champion may be over ... at least Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, believes it is.

McGregor remains sidelined after breaking his leg during his last time out in July 2021 (watch highlights). Since then, McGregor has gotten into a scuffle with Machine Gun Kelly and landed a movie role — your typical “Notorious” antics. All while doing so, he’s kept his name attached to the sport by expressing interest in pursuing a third career divisional title against Usman.

Whether or not the Irishman returns as a Lightweight or Welterweight, the current pound-for-pound kingpin, Usman, doesn’t see that previous level of success ever gracing McGregor again.

LIVE! Watch UFC 299 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

WORLD FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, for the first time in more than two years with its latest pay-per-view (PPV) show. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV main event, reigning Featherweight roost-ruler, Alexander Volkanovski, will defend his 145-pound strap against undefeated surging Spanish contender, Ilia Topuria. In addition, former Middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker, will finally square off with mercurial mauler, Paulo Costa, in UFC 298’s co-feature. UFC 298 will also feature the returns of Ian Garry, Geoff Neal, Henry Cejudo, Merab Dvalishvili and so much more!

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“He’s not necessarily done, but he’s done as a champion,” Usman told I Am Athlete (h/t The Mirror). “This is my perspective, because when I fight guys, I study their hearts. When I watch fights, I watch their heart and for me, he’s done. He’s done, because I don’t know whether the goal was to get the money.

“I don’t know if that’s what it was, because there’s a story about him: He was broke,” he continued. “For me, it seemed like it was about not being broke, getting money. So I understand that. Now he’s not broke. But how are you gonna be champion, because that’s what drove you to become champion, because you didn’t want to be broke? Now you’re not broke anymore.”

At this stage in his career, McGregor doesn’t need to fight anymore, as alluded to with Usman’s comments. Between whiskey and now acting, McGregor is well off without the career that got him here. Regardless, he continues teasing a return.

As for Usman, he’s back in action next weekend (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022) for a rematch against Leon Edwards in the UFC 278 main event in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Will Conor McGregor ever hold another title in MMA?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    (143 votes)
  • 88%
    (1108 votes)
1251 votes total Vote Now

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania