UFC superstar Conor McGregor is easily the most popular MMA fighter in history. But after getting trounced by Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 on July 10, McGregor has fallen on hard times. McGregor has gone 1-3 in UFC fights since becoming the first-ever “champ champ” back in 2016.
At least one notable MMA star believes McGregor’s best days are probably behind him. PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison told Heavy McGregor “has fallen” and that he was trying to duplicate the wrong things on the way down.
“It was terrible. It was hard to watch,” Harrison said.
Harrison was reacting to the wild things McGregor said and did during the buildup for UFC 264. McGregor continued those same kinds of emotional outbursts after he was stopped in the first round.
Harrison agreed with the suggestion that McGregor’s promotional antics seemed forced and inauthentic.
“He has fallen, and I think that’s a scary feeling, and when that happens, you cling to…you try and go back and see how you were successful. What did you do? And you try and duplicate that. And it’s not possible,” Harrison said.
Harrison believes McGregor is trying to duplicate the wrong things about what made him successful five years ago.
“You can’t duplicate you being Conor McGregor and really believing that you are the ‘champ champ’ and you’re going to ‘apologize to absolutely effing nobody’. You can’t duplicate that,” Harrison said.
You can watch more of Heavy’s chat with Harrison below.
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Harrison on What McGregor Should Duplicate
Harrison is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, and she’s the reigning PFL women’s lightweight champion. Oddsmakers favor the PFL’s biggest star to repeat the feat when the playoffs begin next month.
So Harrison knows what it takes to be at the top, and she doesn’t see that in McGregor right now.
It’s not that she believes McGregor’s energy five years ago was fake. It’s that she doesn’t think he’s done enough behind-the-scenes half a decade later for the same kind of energy to be true in 2021.
“That was a real, honest to God energy, feeling, belief, and it made him super successful. But if you don’t put in the work, and you don’t do the things that will give you the belief in yourself, then all that other stuff just comes up as phony because it’s not there,” Harrison said.
Harrison agreed McGregor should probably try less to duplicate his outside demeanor and work harder at training and taking the kinds of UFC fights that might lend themselves to building up a champion.
“Yeah, duplicate that young, hungry, broke on welfare Conor McGregor,” Harrison said.
Beyond McGregor’s 1-3 record since 2016, the fact remains that his total amount of UFC fights over that same five years was just four. That’s easily too few fights if McGregor hopes to keep pace with the likes of Poirier. Since the beginning of 2017, “The Diamond” has stepped inside the UFC’s Octagon against top-notch competition 10 times.
So Harrison believes McGregor would be best served by changing his approach behind the scenes.
“Let’s get some eye of the tiger back in here. Let’s go train in the mountains or train in isolation and not have ‘yes men’ around you,” Harrison said.
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Is Conor Keeping It Real?
But Harrison also notes that maybe McGregor is just on his way down for good. After all, sometimes people say they want something, but the reality is that they really don’t want it enough to do thing things that matter most.
“But maybe he’s happy like this. Maybe he doesn’t want this anymore. And that’s okay, too,” Harrison said.
The most important thing for McGregor to do right now is to keep it real. If he’s not going to do that with the outside world, he would best serve himself by doing it on the inside.
“Just be honest with yourself. Know when it’s time for you to walk away when you don’t have the fire anymore. But don’t pretend to be this guy that you once were if you’re not going to put in the effort for it,” Harrison said.
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