Conor McGregor’s glittering career has been punctuated by two high-profile defeats via stoppage.
Despite winning two UFC world championships, holding them simultaneously for the first and only time, and becoming the biggest star that MMA has ever seen, Conor McGregor has suffered some low points in his career.
Early 2016 saw a UFC lightweight championship challenge against then-champion Rafael Dos Anjos fall through just ten days out when the Brazilian sustained an injury. Nate Diaz stepped in on short notice, and duly submitted McGregor at UFC 196 by rear-naked choke.
Following his 13 second knockout of Jose Aldo just months before, McGregor was reaching the deity status of that very rare breed – a monstrous trash talker who backs up everything he says with eerie prescience.
It was therefore understandable that the Irishman was devastated with the defeat.
Conor redeemed himself by winning the epic rematch at UFC 202, and followed up with the 155lb. title after obliterating Eddie Alvarez. Another loss would bookend those two triumphs in August of this year however, in his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather.
Though at full voice prior to the bout, and of the firm belief afterwards that he would have won the contest with a few adjustments, McGregor was nonetheless much more accepting of his loss this time around.
Now John Kavanagh of Straight Blast Gym Ireland has given insight into the ‘Notorious’ one’s mindset in the wake of those two fights in speaking to The Express.
“I think it’s different,” Kavanagh told Express Sport. “After the Nate loss, it was an obsession.”
“From five minutes of being inside the Octagon, the ball had already started rolling in ensuring his next fight was going to be against Nate.
“I don’t see that same level of interest in the Mayweather rematch.
“Not that he would turn it down if it was offered. But certainly not in the same way that he was for the Diaz fight.”
The insight will come as a relief to those fans who have lobbied for McGregor to return to the Octagon and defend his belt, as opposed to returning to the boxing ring for a larger purse. The Dubliner did tell TMZ last week that he wanted a “real” (read: MMA) fight next, though no official confirmation of an opponent or date has been made yet.