Despite always being one fight away from a title shot, Conor McGregor’s time as an MMA champion may be over … at least Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, believes it is.
McGregor remains sidelined as 2022 continues after breaking his leg during his last time out in July 2021 (watch highlights). Since then, McGregor has gotten into a scuffle with Machine Gun Kelly and landed a movie role — your typical “Notorious” antics. All while doing so, he’s kept his name attached to mixed martial arts (MMA) by expressing interest in pursuing a third career divisional title against Usman.
Whether or not the Irishman returns as a Lightweight or Welterweight, the current pound-for-pound king, Usman, doesn’t see that previous level of success ever gracing McGregor again.
“He’s not necessarily done, but he’s done as a champion,” Usman told I Am Athlete (h/t The Mirror). “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. 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,” he continued. “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.”
At this stage in his career, McGregor doesn’t need to fight anymore, as alluded to with Usman’s comments. Between whiskey and now acting, McGregor is well off without the career that got him here. Regardless, he continues teasing a return.
As for Usman, he’s back in action next weekend (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022) for a rematch against Leon Edwards in the UFC 278 main event in Salt Lake City, Utah.