Conor McGregor
The Notorious

Ireland

Tweets intention to retire again
WelterweightUFC
June 6, 2020
McGregor announced via his personal Twitter account Saturday that he's retiring from professional fighting.
ANALYSIS
The 31-year-old posted the tweet shortly after Amanda Nunes retained the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship by defeating Felicia Spencer at UFC 250. McGregor made his return to UFC in January by defeating Donald Cerrone via TKO at 0:40 of Round 1, his first bout since October 2018. It's certainly not the first time "The Notorious" has mused retirement through Twitter, including a tweet from March 2019, and it remains to be seen if he's truly hanging up his gloves this time around. Should he decide to fight again, he'd logically be next in line to face the winner of a proposed upcoming bout between Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov to unify the lightweight title. There's also been talks of a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, though both of those fighters have had a history of difficult contract negotiations with the UFC.
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Targeting return before summer
WelterweightUFC
January 20, 2020
According to his coach John Kavanagh, McGregor is hoping to make a return to the Octagon prior to the summer of 2020, Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
McGregor made it through his UFC return without absorbing a single strike deemed "significant" by the scorers, so he'll walk away from this matchup relatively unscathed. This sets the table for a quick turnaround, and McGregor's camp has previously alluded to treating 2020 like a "season" with the hope of fighting up to three times. While UFC President Dana White hinted at a matchup against Khabib Nurmagomedov in his post-fight presser, many are forgetting that Khabib is scheduled to defend his belt against Tony Ferguson in April. This is a matchup that already been cancelled on four separate occasions, and McGregor has openly expressed doubt about the fight happening. If it does go down as planned, however, there are plenty of options for McGregor. Jorge Masvidal and Justin Gaethje are names that have repeatedly been mentioned, while a trilogy fight against Nate Diaz might even be on the table. His manager even hinted at a rematch with Jose Aldo, though that admittedly seems unlikely given Aldo's recent drop to bantamweight (135) and McGregor's most recent fight at welterweight (170). Any of those opponents would serve as an excellent bridge to Nurmagomedov, provided he takes care of business against Ferguson in April (and that's far from a guarantee). In any case, fight fans will eagerly be awaiting McGregor's next move now that the sport's biggest star is back in a major way.
Khabib next up?
WelterweightUFC
January 20, 2020
UFC President Dana White believes that McGregor's next opponent should be lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
McGregor announced his return triumphantly Saturday with a 40-second victory over all-time UFC wins leader Donald Cerrone, but the former two-division champion failed to specify an opponent he's targeting for his next fight. The telecast would have led you to believe a matchup with Jorge Masvidal is on the horizon, with the camera panning to Masvidal and his "BMF" championship multiple times, but this is a fight White has been dismissive of in the past. In the post-fight presser, White compared a Conor-Khabib rematch to the likes of Ali-Frazier, calling it "a massive fight with global appeal." The first matchup didn't go McGregor's way, as he was taken down three times and was losing the striking battle 51-to-70 before getting submitted with a neck crank in the fourth round. While Nurmagomedov would likely be a betting favorite yet again, it almost seems like a different McGregor we're seeing in his return -- a calmer, more calculated fighter focused on building his legacy. The other obstacle to this matchup is the fact Nurmagomedov is currently scheduled to defend his lightweight title against Tony Ferguson in April. That could effectively set the stage for McGregor to take on Masvidal or another opponent like Justin Gaethje in spring or summer, leading up to White's proposed mega-fight at the conclusion of 2020.
Destroys Cerrone in 40 seconds
WelterweightUFC
January 18, 2020
McGregor defeated Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) at 0:40 of Round 1 at UFC 246 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Fighting for the first time since his October 2018 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor looked sharper than ever. In a shocking turn of events, Conor grabbed hold of Cerrone and tied up his arms just seconds after the opening bell rang and proceeded to smash Cowboy in the face with his shoulder repeatedly. It's a method of attack that is never employed but proved to be extremely effective for McGregor. The shoulder shots messed up Cowboy's equilibrium and Conor followed that up with a perfectly placed head kick. A few follow up shots later and referee Herb Dean was correctly calling a stop to the contest. This result was a best-case scenario for both McGregor and the UFC. Conor gets a quick, dominant victory and emerges from it completely unscathed. He should now be able to return in fairly short order and the company has countless options in regards to his next opponent. A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz certainly makes some sense but a battle with Jorge Masvidal for the "BMF" Championship appears to make the most sense. Masvidal is big and physical, and McGregor may very well find himself as the betting underdog if that fight comes to fruition, but if we learned anything on Saturday, it's not to bet against the 2020 version of Conor McGregor.
Making return to Octagon
WelterweightUFC
November 28, 2019
McGregor will face Donald Cerrone in a welterweight matchup at UFC 246 on Jan. 18, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
McGregor hasn't competed in the UFC since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of 2018. The 31-year-old has faced several accusations in recent years, including a suspension for the brawl that ensued following the matchup with Khabib. It's a bit surprising to see the fight set to take place in the welterweight division, but McGregor could face the Diaz/Masvidal and Khabib/Ferguson winners later in 2020 if he is successful. McGregor could be trying to become a champion in a third division by entering the 170-pound weight class. Cerrone is coming off a loss to Justin Gaethje via TKO (punches) at UFC Vancouver in September, which brought his professional record to 36-13. Cerrone carries a height advantage, while McGregor has a slight advantage in reach.
Targeting mid-January return
WelterweightUFC
October 24, 2019
McGregor plans to return to the UFC on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
While accusations outside the cage have dominated the headlines surrounding McGregor of late, it appears as if the former two-division champion is ready to make his return. He had apparently been targeting a Dec. 14 bout against Frankie Edgar, but with three title fights already on that card, a return didn't make sense for either party. Now, McGregor has shifted his focus to a potential matchup against Donald Cerrone or Justin Gaethje for the mid-January card, with aspirations to face both the Diaz/Masvidal and Khabib/Ferguson winners later in the year. These are lofty goals for a fighter who hasn't competed since a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov over a year ago, and who was on the sidelines for nearly two years before that fight. Nonetheless, McGregor plans to treat 2020 as a "season" and be as active as possible, which is the best-case scenario for the UFC.