Conor McGregor seems to be rejuvenated after his quick finish of Donald Cerrone in the UFC 246 headliner.
The Irish star returned to the Octagon to author a 40-second technical knockout of the popular “Cowboy” at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Jan. 18, and the performance reaffirmed McGregor as the biggest star in the sport. After losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight championship clash at UFC 229, the “Notorious” was absent from the cage for more than a year as he made more headlines for out-of-the cage issues than he did for his fighting career.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, McGregor claims that he found a renewed focus heading into UFC 246.
"I will admit that the fight before UFC 246, I did not train properly and was not in perfect condition," he said. "Call it what you want. I am hungry today. Hungry like a man who has not eaten for weeks. ... When I set my mind to something, there is nothing I can not accomplish. It is that power of belief that makes up the winners.”
McGregor’s stock peaked shortly after UFC 205, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to become a simultaneous champion in the lightweight and featherweight division in November 2016. That paved the way for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in August 2017, a fight McGregor lost but reportedly earned in the neighborhood of $100 million for his efforts.
Today, the SBG Ireland representative has been most commonly linked with a Nurmagomedov rematch or a showdown with lightweight action fighter Justin Gaethje. Streaking welterweight Jorge Masvidal and longtime rival Nate Diaz have also been mentioned as potential matchups for the Dublin native.
Regardless of what the future holds, McGregor seems to be intent on competing in both the UFC and the Sweet Science going forward.
"What the fans, and frankly the fighters, don’t want is a dull fight or a dull lead up to a fight," he said. "I enjoy every aspect, and the fans deserve to see and hear the real me. I am very passionate and eager to please the fans and win for them and my family. I am willing to fight anyone and have proved that time and time again. I look for a good scrap, and if it isn't going to be that, I have no interest.
" ... The money is not why I do this. I am a very rich man, and my children and those that come after them will be just fine. I love the fight game. I learned many things boxing in Crumlin where I grew up, and my deep love is why I do this today. I will be in the Octagon again soon and fully expect to box again. You will need to stay tuned, but trust me—the fans will enjoy. Giving them what they want and entertaining them is important to me."