McGregor, a defeat as a farewell to ambitions … and a hello to Pacquiao?

McGregor, a defeat as a farewell to ambitions … and a hello to Pacquiao?
McGregor, a defeat as a farewell to ambitions … and a hello to Pacquiao?

Conor McGregor failed the test of a fight that was to revive his ambitions. But it was perhaps Dana White who lost the most.

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The UFC executive boss had announced that undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was looking to “be impressed” to come out of retirement. With in his head the desire to see McGregor release a performance of choice for his return to the octagon and push the Dagestan to grant him a rematch of their fight of 2018 which would have brought a real jackpot, their first clash remaining the country- best-selling per-view in the history of the major MMA fighting organization. But the dream is over.

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With a victory over Dustin Poirier, former interim champion in the category he beat in 2014 in the feathers, the Irishman would have regained his aura and his legitimacy for a title fight. Missed. Comfortable at the end of the first round, with quick and precise strikes, McGregor quickly dropped his foot in the second round and could not avoid the technical knockout, hit in the leg and then extinguished by a furia of blows from his sound. opponent.

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The end of the “Notorious” ambitions? It’s hard not to see him like that. UFC’s Golden Egg Goose, the biggest active star in combat sports, the man capable of selling over a million pay-per-views each time on his name alone will remain a major draw of his discipline.

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As long as he wishes to fight, his appearances will remain events. But in a sport where meritocracy cannot be circumvented, its best hours seem far away and not about to return.

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The first double champion at the same time in UFC history (feathers and lightweight, in November 2016) has only climbed in the cage three times in the past four years: the loss to Khabib, a victory in forty seconds on an aging Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in January 2020 and the TKO inflicted by Poirier. Nothing that legitimizes the stated objective of regaining the lightweight belt of the one who explained in recent days always consider himself “as the champion”. And a lack of activity that cost him dearly against “

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The Diamond”.

Ferguson, Masvidal, Holloway…

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The Irish superstar immediately brought up the matter at the microphone after his fifth career defeat (22-5): “It’s hard to overcome inactivity in this business”. He also promised that we would see him again in 2021, that he would return to work to better come back and correct the situation. He has repeated his hunger to fight many times this year and there is no reason not to believe him anymore. But for which challenge (s)? We understand, it’s dead for Khabib, as for the dreams of a belt. Michael Chandler, the former Bellator champion who made a smashing debut in the UFC with a spectacular TKO over Dan Hooker in the same evening, is for example already much more legitimate to fight for the title, not to mention Dustin Poirier or by Brazilian sensation Charles Oliveira (and Justin Gaethje).

But McGregor, thirty-two, won’t be short of options. Anyone or almost would agree to face him so much sharing the light with him guarantees a beautiful check. There are still options among the lightweight, like a Tony Ferguson who remains on two defeats and would represent an interesting challenge between fighters to revive. There are also elsewhere, like the “Baddest Motherfucker” Jorge Masvidal (audience card and punchline festival guaranteed) or the former feather champion Max Holloway. Given the situation, we say to ourselves that there is perhaps above all a way to a return to the rings (he had faced Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 in a super-lucrative event) against a certain Manny Pacquiao.

Always an attraction

Discussions with the Filipino boxer clan, current 42-year-old WBA Super welterweight champion and who signed with the Irishman’s management company, began last year and would continue behind the scenes if one believes the Irish superstar. Who has confirmed in recent days the possibility that the thing will be done in 2021, “at the end of the year or even before”. A few months ago, McGregor had confirmed that he liked the idea of ​​facing a “southpaw” (fighting left-handed) like Poirier to prepare Pacquiao, another representative of the genre. His defeat which blocks the future in MMA will perhaps accelerate the process towards what promises to be another great show-farce without sporting interest, and even more after what we saw against Poirier which leaves little doubt on what Pacquiao could do with him between the ropes. Conor has no doubt said goodbye to ambitions. But after all he’s done, he will remain an attraction.

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