I’m not an MMA nut by any means but last night I decided to stay up and watch the Conor McGregor fight, which was accompanied by a delightful bottle of Tom Cat Blueberry gin. Through my blurred vision I witnessed a fighter who once appeared unstoppable look a former shadow of himself; laying against the cage bruised and bloodied up.
Everyone will remember that momentous night in Irish history when Conor McGregor won the world title from Jose Aldo in a mere 13 seconds. I distinctly remember conversing with my former colleagues at McDonald’s thinking that Aldo may just have a little bit too much for the Irishman. The KO made me proud to be wrong, it was devastating, entertaining and convinced me and a lot of others to follow Conor’s career a little more.
However, there comes a time when a fighter ‘ages overnight’. That seemed to be the common conclusion from last night’s fight. I personally believe we saw the very best of Conor McGregor all those years ago against the likes of Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez. He’s been on the slide for some time but due to his ability to draw large crowds and PPV revenue, he fights on.
It was strange yet refreshing to see Conor McGregor take this challenge against Dustin Poirer seriously. He appeared focused, leaving the trash talk behind and was occupied on the task at hand. Maybe that was because he realised himself that things were slowing down for him. I’m never one to question a fighter’s choices but if the desire isn’t there, I would strongly urge anyone to not go through those ropes or into that cage.
I’ve seen the decline of many fighters over the last few years and last night, although the tactics used by Dustin Poirer were perfect, showed a much slower McGregor than we want to remember. Should he decide to continue, I will still tune in. The best I can hope for is McGregor deciding to retire, that would have my full support. What more could he possibly achieve? He made history and has nothing left to prove. Unfortunately I just don’t see the Irish UFC star retiring just yet.
Maybe I can find solace in Conor McGregor fighting once more, the potential of winning that rubber match and deciding that would be enough. If that’s the case then it’ll be one hell of an occasion.