As if there wasn’t already enough, compelling storylines tied to the upcoming bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, now there’s another…Could the latter decided to hang em up after UFC 229?
The consensus is that UFC 229 will be the biggest, pay-per-view card in MMA history, on account of the headlining fight between Nurmagomedov and McGregor. The bout is a fascinating one on several levels: in Nurmagomedov, you have one of the best, if not the best grapplers in the game, taking on McGregor, one of the most dangerous strikers in MMA. Then, of course, adding to the intrigue is the fact both men are big stars, particularly McGregor, as well as the now infamous media day incident for UFC 223.
Following McGregor’s loss to boxing star Floyd Mayweather last summer, there was some speculation, as to whether the former featherweight and lightweight champ might walk away from fighting, on account of the gazillion dollars he made. But, it wasn’t long before McGregor talked about his desire to return to the cage, and here we are, approximately one month out from his return.
But, apparently there still is some discussion regarding McGregor’s post-UFC 229 future, in terms of fighting. Recently his striking coach, Owen Roddy, was a guest on the Eurobash podcast. When asked about McGregor’s future, Roddy had this to say (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I don’t know…I don’t think [he will retire],” Roddy said. “I don’t look into the future to see what’s happening. Conor’s mentality hasn’t changed at all, so I don’t know.”
“I always say, it depends on what fights are available, I think, for Conor. As I said, if there is another big super fight and Conor feels like he would enjoy it, then he’ll do it. If the fans want it and stuff like that, I think Conor will take it.”
“…This is potentially the biggest fight ever. We’ll go in and do that and then he’ll probably be on to the next biggest fight ever.”
From the outside looking into McGregor’s career, it’s hard to imagine him retiring, win or lose, at UFC 229. Based off comments he’s made since facing Mayweather, the 30 year-old does seem focused on erasing any doubts that he remains an elite fighter. He hasn’t said anything more recently, which points to a change in mind, in terms of enhancing his legacy.
But, Roddy’s comments do seem to bolster the view that McGregor may not stick around at 155 for very long, if he reclaims the title. If say, Dustin Poirier defeats Nate Diaz, and Tony Ferguson gets by Anthony Pettis, will McGregor be interested in those title defenses? Would those constitute the type of big fight McGregor is looking for? They might not. Georges St-Pierre, on the other hand…