The UFC 189, live phone conference with Conor McGregor, Chad Mendes, Rory McDonald, and Robbie Lawler concluded earlier; as expected the focus was mainly on Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes. McGregor and Mendes will face-off for the Interim Featherweight title after the champion, Jose Aldo, was forced to withdraw due to a rib injury he suffered in training.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor lived up to his name, holding little back in the live press conference. McGregor started by taking multiple jabs at his former opponent Jose Aldo and current opponent Chad Mendes. When asked whether or not the switch from Aldo to Mendes affected his strategy; McGregor responded with, “I never had a game plan, the plan is to go in flawless like I always do. It does not matter who is in front of me. My approach will win the fight” This answer being tied with the breaking news that Mendes would step in to fight McGregor where he (Conor) stated “any opponent is the same to me, they are all the same”.
Taking a fight on 18 days notice against one of the best in the division in Chad Mendes, is no easy task, but; when asked if he ever considered not taking this fight McGregor explained “Not one thought, I am going to destroy everyone in the division. One by one. It was never about being the champion to me. It is about destroying every single person in the Featherweight division”
Conor McGregor left very little to the imagination when specifically asked about his former opponent and current Featherweight champ Jose Aldo. When asked if, “In your head did you think Aldo would drop out of the fight”? McGregor responded with ” Yeah, I have been contemplating this scenario long before the injury. The eyes never lie and in his eyes I saw only fear. I can’t say I blame the man. I was going to ******* butcher him, limb by limb”. “The man (Aldo) pulls out of fights time and time again. The medical report says he is physically able to compete and he is choosing not to. I don’t think he is ever going to be back, I think the belt should be stripped”
At this point of the interview, things started heating up between Mendes and McGregor. When Mendes was asked what has McGregor done to bring this fight to a personal level, Mendes referred to an interview with BT Sport where McGregor said he was going to “rest his ball sack on your forehead” Mendes believes this statement is what pushed him to the edge saying “Conor decided to make it personal, you don’t ******* do that. I’m looking to do what fighters are paid to do, seriously injure him”.
Mendes and McGregor continued to argue after the statement, frequently cutting each other off and providing the listeners with some great build up to promote the fight on short notice.
Mendes-“I don’t know how you’re going to be pressuring anything from your back.”
McGregor-“Listen, What are you going to do? You can’t even pass guard. Your a white belt on the mat. You get me down and hold me down. I butcher you from the bottom, get back up and butcher you on the feet,”
Mendes-“What are you going to do? Are you going to do the split on me? Like Jean Claude Van Damme. All right dude, you’re so tough,”
For McGregor “Cash beats credit every time, I’m going to cash a big ******* check and rub it in to anyone who has ever doubted me”. And for Mendes this is an opportunity to cash a big check that Conor McGregor wrote with his mouth.
This concluded the argument for now setting up the showdown at UFC 189, July 11th, for the Interim Featherweight title.
UFC 189 PPV Main Event:
145 lbs.: UFC Featherweight Interim Championship* Chad Mendes vs. Conor McGregor
UFC 189 PPV Co-Main Event:
170 lbs.: UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald
UFC 189 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Dennis Bermudez vs. Jeremy Stephens
170 lbs.: Gunnar Nelson vs. Brandon Thatch
135 lbs.: Thomas Almeida vs. Brad Pickett
UFC 189 FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Matt Brown vs. Tim Means
170 lbs.: John Howard vs. Cathal Pendred
170 lbs.: Alex Garcia vs. Mike Swick
135 lbs.: Henry Briones vs. Cody Garbrandt
UFC 189 Fight Pass “Prelims” (7 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Neil Seery vs. Louis Smolka
155 lbs.: Yosdenis Cedeno vs. Cody Pfister
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
Will Conor McGregor ever fight again?
The future of the UFC’s biggest ever star is in doubt. But it was also never a secret. “The Notorious” Conor McGregor always made his intentions clear, “Get in. Get rich. Get out”. And now he’s rich, very rich.
Get in. Get rich. Get out.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 12, 2014
In 2008 at the age of 20 a baby-faced, clean-shaven McGregor stated his ambitions for his MMA career after just 5 professional fights. He said “My dream is to be world champion in the UFC, have more money than I know what to do with, and have a great life for my kids, my grandkids, everyone in my family, everyone that’s come up with me. That’s my dream”.
Along his journey, McGregor has never kept his intentions to himself. At first, it was to get into the UFC. Then it was the featherweight belt. Then it was to replicate what he had done in his previous promotion, to become the UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight world champion.
The issue now is that McGregor has achieved everything he has set out to do. From world titles to being a multi-millionaire, he’s done it all. And now there is no statement of intent. No dream to chase.
Since he’s achieved everything he said he ever wanted, where does the hunger for more come from? Currently, it doesn’t appear to be there.
Since the last time we saw McGregor with gloves on, the charismatic Irishman has seemingly gone off the rails. There was the Bellator 187 incident in Dublin, where McGregor stormed the cage and pushed veteran referee Marc Goddard and slapped an official. But more recently the Irish Daily Mail has reported that McGregor was involved in a bar fight in his native Crumlin, where he is believed to have punched an associate of a major crime gang in Dublin. Whether this is true or not, it is still something a UFC champion and role model shouldn’t be associated with.
From the outside, McGregor’s life is more about hours spent at the club rather than the gym.
But who can blame the man for enjoying the fruits of his labor? He is acting how most 29-year-old men would if they had just received $100 million.
This is his life’s work paying off.
After McGregor’s loss at UFC 196, he wanted an immediate rematch against Nate Diaz at the same weight. It showed us he’s a true martial artist with the heart of a lion. It showed his desperation to get that win back and prove he is the better competitor. And when he won, he proved all his doubters wrong as he walked on crutches through the corridor of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas screaming “doubt me now”.
But after his loss to Mayweather Jr., there has seemingly been no desire to arrange a fight to get back in the win column.
It’s easy to forget during this period of inactivity that McGregor is one of the most active guys in MMA. From UFC 194 to UFC 205, McGregor competed in 4 fights at 3 different weight classes against high caliber opponents inside the space of 11 months. The truth is he deserves a well-earned rest.
However, in a recent media scrum, Dana White confirmed that Conor was looking to fight before the end of the year but had been pulled from UFC 219 as punishment for the incident at Bellator 187.
Dana also told the reporters in the room “Conor might never fight again. The guys got $100 million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working”.
White also said, “Try and get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank”.
The two statements from Dana are very contradicting as he isn’t sure McGregor will ever fight again, but at the same time he wanted to fight on December 30th. Maybe Dana is struggling to pick apart the mind of Conor McGregor as much as we are.
There are plenty of reasons why Conor should never come back.
Not only is he set for life but he’s also healthy. McGregor is extremely conscious about his health and has mentioned several times throughout his career about the importance of keeping your brain healthy.
But there are plenty of reasons why he should he come back.
He loves to fight and he loves making money. He needs to capitalize on that whilst he can.
McGregor doesn’t have to settle for one big payday, he has matchups waiting for him such as Ferguson, Diaz, and GSP. There is always the welterweight belt and his Croke Park dream. And the door is open for a return to boxing, especially with fighters like De La Hoya, Pacquiao, and Malignaggi calling him out.
He’s also at the peak in terms of age and physique and in terms of power. Where he has the whole MMA world on strings with every small move he makes.
There is no knowing if McGregor will ever fight again. If McGregor returns to his usual self, he will likely be back in the first quarter of 2018, where he will fight frequently. But as time ticks on and there is no fight announcement McGregor may be stripped of his belt never to be seen again.
He got in. He got rich. Is he out? Let us know.
Manny Pacquiao Hints at Possible 2018 Fight with Conor McGregor
Here we go again. Just when we thought Conor McGregor was set on a return to the octagon, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has seemingly called out the charismatic Irishman with his latest Instagram post.
It appears the current senator of the Philippines also wants a trip on the money train that is Conor McGregor, as he sent out this cryptic message on his Instagram.
The caption reads “Happy thanksgiving! Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018 @thenotoriousmma”.
This comes a week after retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya claimed he has been secretly training for a bout with “The Notorious One.” Speaking on ‘Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew’, De La Hoya claimed “I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I can take out Conor McGregor out in two rounds”.
After his most recent loss to Australian boxer Jeff Horn, retirement looked imminent for ‘Pac-Man’. But a shot at McGregor and the pay day his name brings, appears to be far too tempting.
McGregor loves to test himself and he loves money. So he will be licking his lips just thinking about the opportunity to get back in the ring against a high calibre opponent like Pacquiao. Not just to make money, but to prove his doubters wrong after his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
McGregor’s immediate future looks set to be a fight with Tony Ferguson in 2018. But after that who knows what the future holds for the UFC lightweight champion.
If McGregor’s next fight is a boxing match with Pacquiao, then it could spell the end of his title reign. As Ferguson likes to say it’s ‘defend or vacate’ time.
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