Though it seems a lifetime past, less than a year ago, Conor McGregor was the reigning UFC featherweight champion, having taken the title off of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in December 2015. McGregor’s reign as champion was brief though, the UFC stripping him of his title when he won the lightweight belt last November. Since then, Max Holloway defeated Aldo to claim the featherweight title for himself, and though Holloway is confident his status as champion will remain the same should McGregor ever deign to return to 145 pounds, the featherweight champion doesn’t seem to think that’s likely.
Speaking with MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Rush, Holloway said that McGregor isn’t likely to come back to featherweight because he knows “Blessed” would bring his “fairytale” crashing down.
“There’s this fairytale,” said Holloway. “Everybody’s talking about him as the champion and this and that but his last four fights he’s 2-2 , one of them being questionable. He could have been 1-3 right now if we’re being totally honest. At the end of the day, there’s this fairytale to him and this fairytale breaks if he fights someone like me and I beat him.”
McGregor is 2-2 in his last four fights if you include his failed foray into professional boxing against Floyd Mayweather last month, but McGregor also has the unique ability to shape the narrative of a fight even in a losing effort. Despite getting stopped in the tenth round of his bout with Mayweather, he received a tremendous amount of credit for his performance; and after losing to Nate Diaz last year, McGregor orchestrated a rematch where he edged out a decision over a man he claimed was “three times the size” of himself. But according to Holloway, McGregor wouldn’t be able to explain away losing to him in a rematch the same way.
“Fairytales end. This fairytale of him being the baddest man or whatever you think he is, it ends if he fights me and things don’t go his way. You hear it with the Nate excuses: ‘Nate is three times the size of me!’ I’m pretty sure they’re almost close in height. You’re over here calling yourself a gorilla and this and that and now you’re fighting a guy that’s three [times the] size of you, it makes no sense to me. He looks three [times the] size of Floyd and Floyd wasn’t crying.”
The verbal jiu-jitsu that allows McGregor to shape losing narratives into winning ones is part of McGregor’s larger oratorical acumen which has established him as the preeminent “talker” in MMA and helped propel him to becoming the biggest star in the history of the sport. It’s a skill that even Holloway admits he would like to have and the featherweight champion respects, even though it’s not his own style.
“He runs his mouth, he talks the talk, and he’s been walking the walk, so touché to him. At the end of the day, when I talk I’m not saying stuff to try and hurt your feelings. When I speak, I speak facts and if you’re getting mad, it’s because you know it’s the truth. That guy tries to push it off a little bit more in a WWE way and that’s him, that’s fair play to him. He can do it, I can’t do that. I’m pretty sure that if a lot of people could do it, we’d be doing it. You can’t and you’ve got to respect someone like that.
“He does it his way, I’m doing it my way. When I start running my mouth I start running facts, I start giving guys numbers, I start giving guys ideas of where I come from and where I work. He just kind of wants to get under your skin but you can’t be mad at the guy, that’s his personality. I’m not a hater. I respect him. He’s on his grind and he’s using it and he’s getting his, so fair play to him.”
Respect or not though, Holloway concludes that McGregor might be able to out-promote him, but he damn sure won’t out-fight him again.
“At the end of the day, they want their fairytale to end, they know who to call but they don’t want to. They want to run off into the sunset and that’s them.”
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DC has chosen and there’s No Time like the present.
@volkan_oezdemir I asked and people wanna see u and I scrap. So you got it man! Let me figure a date now. They chose u bud! Congrats
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 28, 2017
Tony Ferguson calling out Eddie for grammar when he treats every word like a proper noun is kind of incredible.
Aljo had a long Twitter fight with Jimmie Rivera’s wife. Not gonna put the whole thing here for multiple reasons but you can go check it out if you’re so inclined.
Lol your girl handling your fights too I see. I won’t trash her as much as savage Aljo wants to. But this proves my point. You pussy https://t.co/2ZHjjk8pi0
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) September 29, 2017
Even NFL bloggers are coming for Covington.
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Magana has been very vocal about the struggles in Puerto Rico right now.
IN. SO IN.
2007: Strikeforce held its seventh event, an invitation-only fight card hosted at the Playboy Mansion.
2012: Stipe Miocic suffered the first defeat of his career, getting knocked out by Stefan Struve at UFC on fuel TV 5. This event also featured the final fight of Duane Ludwig’s career, a TKO loss to Che Mills caused by a knee injury.
The people have spoken and a majority of y’all want to see Garbrandt defend his title against the winner of Cruz-Rivera.
Take it easy everyone and see y’all Monday.
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