The UFC’s lightweight champion gave an interview to Sky Sports recently in which he discussed the effects of his recent earnings and how he himself gauges his readiness for competition at the highest level.
For all of the ups and downs the MMA world has experienced in this calendar year, the absence of the sport’s biggest star from the UFC octagon has been felt dramatically.
Sure, the rest of the roster has had a chance to breathe and we’ve seen the emergence of some serious star-potential in the mean-time but with the face of the fight-game still waiting in the wings, many have started to grow impatient.
Still though, for Conor McGregor, to achieve so much in such a short amount of time from a competitive stand-point is one thing, but to cap it all off by bringing in a reported sum of $100 million at the age of 29 is another thing entirely.
He may be holding up a division, but if anyone deserves a break from the action, it’s this guy.
Speaking to Sky Sports in a recent interview, McGregor broke down exactly where he is at mentally right now and how despite making such a ridiculous sum of money after facing Floyd Mayweather in August, keeping his head in the game is still a priority.
“I always look at the end from a damage-taken standpoint. How much damage have I taken? How is my brain? How is my mental health? How is my physical body? How is my training? How is my preparation? How is my hunger for it? That is where I gauge how long I will do it and there is still a lot left in me.
“It is not necessarily a money thing for me. I am passionate about fighting. Fighting is what I love to do. I will continue to do it as long as I am healthy and willing to put in the work that it takes to do.
“I will not be stupid though. I will not notice things about myself and then continue to do it like many others before me. It is a dangerous, ruthless business and I am aware of that. Thankfully I am in a position of great wealth. I do not need to do it. I am doing it for the love of it.
“I will make my decision when the time comes.”
It’s a little bit less than a fight-announcement but it’s sure as hell better than complete silence. With his UFC lightweight title still apparently in his possession for now, and all signs pointing towards a move back to his home-sport of MMA, 2018 will be a crucial year in the Conor McGregor saga.
And, quite possibly, the new year will be one that sees him take the UFC to an even greater level than before, given his increased status as of late.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena