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Con-troversial Conor McGregor’s days as a world championship fighter are 'over' says top sports analyst

'The Conor McGregor of today is more marketing tool than a legitimate weapon inside the Octagon'

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Are McGregor's days as a world championship fighter over?

Are McGregor's days as a world championship fighter over?

Are McGregor's days as a world championship fighter over?

Conor McGregor’s days as a fighter on a world championship level are “over”, a top American sports analyst has declared. 

McGregor suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Dustin Poirier who secured a technical knock out (TKO) via doctor stoppage after the Dubliner suffered a broken leg in the final seconds of the first round of their trilogy fight.

The former two division UFC champion underwent surgery on a broken leg last weekend and despite his assurances that he will be back, ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith said he sees no more titles in the Irishman’s future.

Smith was inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas working on the ESPN broadcast desk for UFC 264, when he witnessed McGregor’s downfall.

“The Conor McGregor of today is more marketing tool than a legitimate weapon inside the Octagon,” Smith said, in a segment on Stephen A’s World.

“McGregor is on record saying that unless someone knocks him out he doesn’t even see it as a defeat, that it means nothing to him. He can feel that way if he wants but everybody else, let’s just say we don’t track it that way. The UFC sure as hell doesn’t track it that way.

“Because on Conor McGregor’s official record he’s got losses listed in each of his last two fights, in three of his last four fights, in four of his last seven fights.”

Since the start of 2016 McGregor has won just three times. He avenged his March 2016 loss to Nate Diaz five months later, then took the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, before a near two-year lay-off from the Octagon resulted in a fourth-round submission defeat by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

He returned after 15 months with a 40-second demolition of Donald Cerrone at 170 pounds in January 2020, but he has suffered back-to-back defeats by Dustin Poirier to cast doubt over his ability to regain the 155-pound title.

“Any way you look at it, Conor McGregor is nowhere near peak form. At least that’s what his record says,” Smith added.

“He may not think it means much if he isn’t losing by knockout but it’s hard to look at his last five years and see a championship contender. Nurmagomedov and many others feel the same exact way.

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“Conor McGregor, to be clear, is still as great as he ever was … at talking, at instigating, and promoting himself and his events. Make that moolah. And that’s nothing to sneeze at.

“But his days as a fighter on a world championship level? That ended Saturday night when he hit the mat. Slice it any way you want, I’m sorry, it’s over.”

However, former UFC fighter Mark Weir says we shouldn't rule the Irishman out of a successful return to MMA.

Weir believes that McGregor could recover peak form if he focuses his mind on the cage and if he is prepared to build up to mixing in the elite class when he's fit again.

"I do believe Conor McGregor has ability and the ability to knock anyone out. And I don't think he's going to lose that yet at that age. A lot of people hit their prime in their early 30s anyway," Weir told Sky Sports.

"But with the layoff, he didn't really have a warm-up fight. People reckon the Donald Cerrone fight was a warm-up fight, but that wasn't a good warm-up fight. He needs someone of a high level, to push him.

"If he comes back, I think he needs a couple of warm-up fights, start getting that form back - if he's really hungry to prove a point - and then come back for that rematch."

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