Conor McGregor – ‘the kid from Dublin with more than a dream’ as he is sometimes referred to, was the King of the fighting world just a few years ago. He was charismatic, confident, fearless, loud-mouthed, and to top it all off – rich.
He had it all. He had fame, fortune, a beautiful second half, and more money than he could spend in several lifetimes. So just what happened to him? Where did things all go so pear-shaped for McGregor after being at the top of the UFC and how did he return to the top?
Where it all ended
It’s a good question and something that the world watched agonizingly just a few years back. McGregor was the king, and he wasn’t afraid to flaunt his status on our TV screens, as well as in front of a certain fighter – Khabib Numagomedov. McGregor was so confident in his victory against Khabib that he taunted him, and even went as low as to attack his religion and his home country.
Perhaps more famously, McGregor attacked Khabib’s tour bus in New York City and found himself in a courtroom just days later. During the build-up to the fight, tensions began to run insanely high. Then, on October 6th, 2018, McGregor was destroyed by an inspired Khabib, but that was just the beginning.
Khabib proceeded to jump the cage and attack McGregor’s team in a fit of rage, and McGregor became involved in an all-out brawl in the middle of the octagon. Both of them were banned from the sport in Nevada, but McGregor’s slippery slope didn’t end there. In fact, he went a whole lot lower than just losing his belts, his UFC invincibility factor, and his respect from multinational fans around the world.Including some criminal charges against him for assault.
His route back to the MMA
Around the mid-stage of 2019, McGregor began to speak out on his intentions to return to the UFC, and make right for the previous year’s wrongdoings. Many thought that this was all talk and that he surely couldn’t make it back with so much past controversy and personal issues surrounding his life. McGregor had other ideas, however, and as he has done throughout his career, he proceeded to silence his critics and arrange a fight with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
He seemed to get back in the gym like he used to. He was constantly posting on social media how he was eating right, sleeping right, staying off the alcohol, and rebuilding his personal life with his life long partner. All of the lights were starting to turn green for McGregor, and his discipline, as well as his thirst for success, appeared to be back with vengeance.
McGregor’s glorious return
Nobody could have predicted what would happen on January 18th, in the Nevada desert. McGregor actually hadn’t won a UFC bout since 2016, so many were wondering whether he still had what it takes and whether Cowboy would be too tough. The odds were literally against him. When the betting sites published their predictions they were not in favor of McGregor. So how did it go?
Well, within the opening seconds McGregor was launching himself at his opponent and throwing his famous left hand like he used to always do. He was dropping his shoulders to create space, landing kicks like we hadn’t seen before, and he simply looked better than ever.
McGregor famously ended the fight in just 40 seconds through an incredible kick to the head of Cerrone, making him the first fighter in UFC with a kick knockout victory at three weight categories.
McGregor did not only show the world that he was here – he was here to take over once more. The “kid from Dublin with more than a dream” is back!