‘Delusions of grandeur’ – Conor McGregor’s ‘elite’ status questioned by former MMA champ

This former MMA champion not only doubts Conor McGregor's 'elite' status, he is also doubtful about the Irishman's expected UFC return this year.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
‘Delusions of grandeur’ – Conor McGregor’s ‘elite’ status questioned by former MMA champ
RECORD DATE NOT STATED MCGREGOR FOREVER, Conor McGregor, aired May 17, 2023. photo: Netflix Courtesy Everett Collection PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY

He may not be the same fighter as he was in 2016, but many still consider Conor Mcgregor to be part of today’s top competitors. “The Notorious,” who turns 35 in July, has not competed in the last two years and is currently on a two-fight skid. 

McGregor is mounting a comeback sometime in 2023, but this former champion is doubtful of it happening at all. He also isn’t willing to consider the Irishman as part of the elite, but is willing to be proven wrong. 

Ben Askren questions Conor McGregor’s ‘elite’ status 

Former ONE championship and Bellator titleholder Ben Askren recently spoke with UFC Hall of Famer and former double-champ Daniel Cormier in their Funky & The Champ YouTube show. And based on what he’d seen on social media, he is doubtful that McGregor would be able return to the top of the heap. 

“When was the last time you’ve seen a training video of Conor McGregor? Every video I see, he’s partying, he’s dancing, he’s drinking. I don’t know,” Askren said (transcript by MMA Fighting).

“Is this guy taking it seriously anymore? And listen, he’s rich. He can do whatever he wants, apparently. But we also don’t have to consider him a really elite fighter, and he needs to prove that to us again.”

In a recent interview, McGregor said he plans to take on “1oo more fights” and be more consistent. The Dublin native was more active in previous years, competing as much as three times in 2015 and 2016. 

But even with that promise, Askren remains skeptical. 

“Listen, I am not under the belief that Conor McGregor is ever going to fight regularly. I just saw he came out saying, ‘I’m going to fight three or four times in the next year.’

“That ain’t going to happen. Come on, man. He’s fought four times in six years. Why would he fight three or four times in one year? That’s crazy talk. And I’m not even convinced he’s [going to actually end up] fighting Michael Chandler.”

Askren believes Chandler could ‘kill’ Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor’s planned return to action would be against Michael Chandler. The two have recently wrapped up filming of the 31st season of the Ultimate Fighter, where they are opposing coaches. 

McGregor vs. Chandler has yet to be finalized, and Askren thinks it may not end well for the former “champ-champ.” 

“I think Conor in his delusions of grandeur probably still sees himself at the top of the heap and probably still sees himself getting another belt,” he said. “And there’s a chance, because listen, here’s the thing about Michael Chandler — I love Michael Chandler, he was my college teammate, but every Michael Chandler fight is almost a coin flip.

“There’s a chance [Chandler] is going to kill this dude. There’s a chance he’ll just go boom, put him down. But then he’s going to try some crazy shit and there’s a chance he might get put down. 

“McGregor hits hard. I don’t know, I want Michael to win, but it could go either way, and if it goes either way, and it’s a huge fight, they might throw him in for a title. Who knows?”

McGregor plans to finish Chandler with a head kick, something he hasn’t pulled off since his 2020 win over Donald Cerrone. But that, too, was also aided by shoulder strikes to the nose. His current record stands at 22-6. 

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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