Conor McGregor is widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Be that as it may, he suffered his first KO loss over Dustin Poirier at UFC 246 which marked his second successive loss in the lightweight division.
Since McGregor started his UFC career, and for many of his mixed martial arts career, the Mystic Man was always true to his words. It just wasn’t because of his skills on the microphone but the painting inside the Octagon that brought thousands from his home country Ireland into the United States to witness Conor McGregor live.
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It won’t be wrong to say that the Notorious helped plummet the growth of mixed martial arts. He helped introduce MMA to Europe and brought about a huge fan following for UFC. While UFC 196 tarnished McGregor’s legacy to some extent, the Notorious paid a bad dividend for his rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
And now, with his return to the Octagon after announcing his retirement from the sport in July last year, McGregor suffered his career’s first KO loss against former interim champion Dustin Poirier. With the lead-up promising a “motivated McGregor” and the Notorious himself promising fight fans of a “masterpiece,” the former dual champion crumbled against the underdog Dustin Poirier.
Interestingly enough, it made me think of what Michael Chandler, who secured a scintillating KO win over Dan Hooker in his UFC debut, said in the post-fight press conference.
“I always said from the very beginning that Conor is not as good as he thinks he is, but he’s better than we all thought he was.” Chandler had said in the post-fight press conference and the lead-up to UFC 257.
Conor McGregor may not be the GOAT but he is the most impactful fighter
In some ways, it might not be wrong to assume that Chandler speaks volumes about McGregor’s ability into making fight fans believe that he is that exceptional inside the Octagon.
As fight fans, we credit his ability to go four rounds against Khabib Nurmagomedov after a two-year-long boxing tour, and always rely on his ability to come back speaks volumes about how much McGregor has made his fight fans believe in himself.
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While it’s not wrong to not give up on a fighter, it also sheds light on the fact that we have not credited other fighters who have a similar or better resume than Conor McGregor but are not as popular as the Notorious. It’s in times like these that make us realize a Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveria were hiding in the shadows.