“That’s just the reality of the situation.”
Michael Bisping insisted that the current iteration of Conor McGregor is a very different competitor to the fighter who rose through the featherweight ranks before winning titles in the UFC’s 145lbs and 155lbs divisions.
McGregor’s hunger has been questioned by many in recent years due to the Irishman’s ever-growing bank balance and lack of activity in the Octagon.
With just one victory in the past five years, McGregor will be desperate to get back in the win column and exact vengeance on Dustin Poirier following January’s TKO defeat to ‘The Diamond.’
McGregor vs Poirier III is set to take place on July 10 in Las Vegas and ahead of the trilogy fight, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping couldn’t help but point out the difference between the McGregor of 2021 and the first fighter to hold titles in two UFC weight classes simultaneously.
“The Conor McGregor of old is just like the me of old. It doesn’t exist anymore,” Bisping told talkSPORT. “I’m a nice guy, I’m a pussy cat, but I used to be a bit of a nightmare.
Michael Bisping on Conor McGregor
“With Conor McGregor, it’s the same thing. The man’s loaded. He’s pulling up on $100 million yachts and got million dollar watches. He gets chauffeured in Rolls Royces.
“Evander Holyfield said ‘it’s hard to get out and run at 6am when you’re sleeping in silk sheets’.
“Fighters, we’re hungry and want to turn it around. Maybe we’re cut from the same type of cloth or the wrong side of town.
“We like to fight and that’s our only hope. The dream is to make some money and turn your life around, he’s done that in a big way and he’s never going to go skint.
“That’s not an insult, that’s just the reality of the situation. It doesn’t mean he can’t go out there and have a great performance and win, because he can. It’s going to be a tough fight though.”
The rubber match between McGregor and Poirier will headline UFC 264 and with a stoppage victory over the other each, there will be more than bragging rights at stake come July 10.
Poirier reportedly turned down the chance to fight for the UFC’s lightweight title in favour of a lucrative third bout against ‘The Notorious’ and it’s widely accepted that the winner of the trilogy fight will be next in line for Charles Oliveira’s 155lbs belt.
“Whoever wins that fight should certainly go on to fight for the belt,” Bisping said.
“They are the most high profile in that division and are ranked high enough. Dustin was an interim champion and Conor is a former champion.
“The fight, whoever wins that will fight for the belt, as long as they don’t get injured.”