Conor McGregor hasn’t seen action in the UFC since July 2021, when he lost to Dustin Poirier via a TKO due to a broken leg. But “The Notorious” remained in the headlines for controversies involving USADA and new sexual assault allegations.
As the 35-year-old former ‘champ-champ’ prepares for his comeback, he also spoke about his ‘beyond frustrating’ time on the sidelines.
Conor McGregor relates to Alexander Volkanovski’s struggles with inactivity
After his loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 294, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovksi opened up about his mental struggles from inactivity.
“I never thought I’d struggle with it, but for some reason, when I wasn’t fighting or in camp, I’d just do my head in. I needed to fight, and this opportunity came up. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t training as much as I should’ve, but I had to do it. I had to take (the fight).
“I’m telling myself it’s meant to be. I was struggling a little bit not fighting, doing my head in. I don’t know how, everything’s fine. I’ve got a beautiful family, but I don’t know.”
Conor McGregor expressed similar sentiments during an interview with the Mac Life in Riyadh during the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou festivities over the weekend.
“I’ve been kept from my living for almost three years now,” McGregor said. “Understand that. I came through what I came through. I’m sitting on an injury and a loss. Imagine what that [does].
“You hear what Alexander Volkanovski said — I relate. I must return to my way of living. This is my job. So it’s beyond frustrating, and hopefully, we can be back [in April].”
‘Get back and get active’
The last time Conor McGregor had an active fighting year was 2016 when he fought thrice. Since then, his Octagon appearances have become sporadic, fighting only four times between 2018 and 2021.
The Irishman is promising to change all of that upon his planned return.
“If this was boxing, if I was a boxer — yes? — after my injury and the height I reached, from belts to pay-per-view numbers, they would put me back in against this guy [media member] that has never boxed before. That’s what they would do in boxing, to build me back up,” he said.
“But no, you get thrown to the shark’s den, the lion’s den in MMA. That’s the way it is, which is fine. But I just want to get back and get active.
“I want to become the best me before I call it a day, and for that to happen, for any fighter, to be the best they can be, they need consistent competition. So I am eager for that.”
Conor McGregor explains why he prefers an April comeback
Amidst the UFC’s recent severing of ties with USADA, Conor McGregor had done his part by subjecting himself to his first drug test after two years. He says the UFC penned April for his return date, which, for him, makes sense.
“I’m happy with April. I would’ve loved earlier, but I have to be — if I’m to be honest and realistic, and for my fans, I want to put in a good run, build myself back, and that’s it. It’s looking like April, mixed martial arts.”
Conor McGregor also participated as a coach against Michael Chandler in the recently concluded 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter. The two men were initially scheduled to face each other after the season ended, but a fight has yet to come to fruition.
McGregor’s current record stands at 22-6.
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