Kamaru Usman has insisted that Conor McGregor’s time as a UFC champion is over as the Irishman no longer has the drive to be at the top.
McGregor last held a UFC belt in April 2018, when he was stripped of the promotion’s lightweight title due to inactivity, with Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on the mantle after defeating Al Iaquinta.
The Irishman became the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes at the same time, at featherweight and lightweight in his case, although he has won just one of his last four MMA fights since beating Eddie Alvarez in 2016.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was speaking on the I Am Athlete podcast and argued that McGregor will never become a champion in the MMA promotion again.
Kamaru Usman on Conor McGregor.
“He’s not necessarily done, but he’s done as a champion. This is my perspective, because when I fight guys, I study their hearts. When I watch fights, I watch their heart and for me, he’s done,” Usman said.
“He’s done, because I don’t know whether the goal was to get the money. I don’t know if that’s what it was, because there’s a story about him: He was broke. For me, it seemed like it was about not being broke, getting money. So I understand that.
“Now he’s not broke. But how are you gonna be champion, because that’s what drove you to become champion, because you didn’t want to be broke? Now you’re not broke anymore.”
Legend… @USMAN84kg episode out now 🚨 pic.twitter.com/NHQS0Ngj0R
— I AM ATHLETE (@IAMATHLETEpod) August 8, 2022
The Irishman is nearing a comeback.
McGregor presumably vehemently disagrees with Usman’s assessment of his chances of becoming a UFC champion again, and recently tweeted that his return to MMA will be “the greatest and biggest sports comeback in all of history”.
The 34-year-old lost fought in July 2021, although that bout was brought to an end after McGregor suffered a gruesome leg injury at the end of the first round.
A date for McGregor’s return to the octagon has still not been set, although there has been no shortage of fighters who have called him out during his injury-enforced absence, and vice versa.
Since his leg injury, McGregor has bulked up considerably and may be looking to compete more regularly at welterweight, although a fight between him and Usman looks unlikely.
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