He’s the biggest name in Mixed Martial Arts and, for many, the most famous of them all in combat sports. Forget British heavyweight Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury of the boxing world. Look past stars like Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. Conor McGregor is one of the biggest sports stars today.
The Irish-born former UFC champion is currently training for a trilogy against long-term rival Dustin Poirer, a bout that will be fought out in July. With the scores tied at one win each, this could prove to be the biggest fight of Conor’s career. The result could make or break his legacy with victory, proving him one of the greats who bounced back from challenges outside of the octagon.
The current UFC betting odds make him favorite to do just that but beating Poirer will be no easy task. If Notorious is to claim his place in history, he must go out and earn in.
Critics say he’s late to the party
Despite approaching a crossroads in his MMA career, there’s one rumor that reuses to go all. Conor wants to follow in the footsteps of stars, including Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather, and test his skills in WWE. Current world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury even made it to wrestling’s big time.
Fans of both the UFC and WWE have discussed the chance of McGregor making a guest appearance for years. Many wrestling followers will be surprised he hasn’t already done it, while others believe he has missed the boat. He’s late for the party.
It’s an interesting one. Indeed McGregor’s representatives would have been pushing for his man to show up on the WWE radar by now. His involvement would make much more sense than some professional boxing champions who have moved in recent times. McGregor is a massive name in the sport, worth millions, and has the wrestling skills from mixed martial arts to hold his own when a WWE king took him to the canvas.
King of the billion-dollar walk
Last summer McGregor got fans excited by calling out Vince McMahon. It’s not clear if that fight would happen, if McGregor would become part of the WWE roster full-time after hanging up his gloves, similar to UFC champion Ronda Rousey, or if he’d make a fleeting appearance for one last payday before waltzing off into the sunset clutching his brand of whisky. That followed Triple H telling wrestling fans McGregor should fight billionaire WWE promoter McMahon for a Billion Dollar Walk title.
At present, it’s all rumors and gossip. The kind of stuff McGregor has made a lot of money from being involved in. The king of UFC knows how to create hype. Some would say selling himself is his biggest skill.
McGregor ready for the decider
Team McGregor recently released training videos and images of the fighting pride of Ireland looking in incredible shape. This helped squash rumors that he was taking the fight lightly or, as some critics have accused, he has lost of love for the sport he once dominated. Will he become nothing more than another fighter that lost his edge due to the riches and fame that come with being a global sensation?
Fans will get the chance to find out this summer. McGregor must beat Poirer and make it 2-1 if he is to salvage his UFC career and continue to be seen as a world title contender. The result of the third fight between the pair won’t have much of an impact on his chances of crossing over to WWE, however.
He’s already a legend in combat sports, is a blockbuster name with followers across the globe, knows how to sell a fight, and brings with him an audience in the millions. This could provide WWE with a fresh injection of fans.
Keep your eyes peeled for the latest announcements on that one. Until then, McGregor has the little matter of settling an old score with Dustin Poirier to attend to. The pair clash in the headline act of UFC 264, and with Poirier calling his opponent a laughing stock and washed up, this fight is sure to catch fire early.