The Irish MMA fighter has sure made a name for himself over recent years, but this is what another loss would mean for Conor McGregor.
Conor McGregor said it himself, “Whenever I fight, it’s a celebration.” That is not hyperbole, as McGregor’s fights have generated nearly billions of profit from the box office to the best online sportsbooks.
But “The Notorious” one, despite still being popular, could see his star destroyed if he suffers another loss against Dustin Poirier this July.
Poirier fights – his past record
McGregor infamously got knocked out by Poirier this January. To exacerbate his situation, McGregor’s been accused of not following through with his $500K donation by Poirier. The two have since gone back and forth on social media about it.
Of course, given McGregor’s questionable ventures and run-ins with the law, most media members and non-McGregor MMA fans are not giving him the benefit of the doubt.
This only puts him in a tighter spot and essentially makes his bout against Poirier his most important one. Because if McGregor does not win, his career may ultimately be over.
McGregor is not bulletproof anymore – the former MMA king
Once upon a time, McGregor was the sole king of the MMA world. It was McGregor, and then it was MMA. The UFC’s cash cow could do whatever he wants thanks to being their biggest star.
But then McGregor went and did that boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and while that produced record-setting box office numbers, he did get finished. And that would start this downward spiral for bringing another loss for Conor McGregor.
He’s been implicated in several criminal offences from Dublin (twice in 2019) to Florida to Corsica. And let’s not forget the UFC 229 bus attack in 2018.
Sure, McGregor’s gotten slaps on the wrists for his transgressions. Call it the superstar treatment. But ever since his loss to Mayweather, McGregor’s been less than stellar, especially within the fight game.
He set up a mega-fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov and drew more record-breaking numbers but then got himself dominated and strangled.
His next fight would be a one-minute destruction of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, which looked great at the time. But in hindsight, Cerrone has lost four straight and hasn’t won a fight since 2019.
Returning against an old foe in Poirier, someone McGregor’s already beaten, he found himself on the wrong end of a highlight-reel knockout. And as a sizable betting favourite too.
Consecutive losses can be a death knell – could this be the end?
Losing a fight is one thing. Getting submitted is another. But getting knocked out? That can be all kinds of damning to how a fighter is perceived.
McGregor lost to Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov by submission. He got “knocked out” by Mayweather in boxing. As bad as these losses were, they could be forgiven to an extent.
The Diaz loss was McGregor’s first as a superstar, and he rectified that with a win (albeit a controversial one).
Nurmagomedov is an unbeatable monster who has run through everyone in his path. A loss here is nothing to be ashamed of. The same goes against Mayweather, who is the greatest boxer of his era.
But if McGregor gets starched or even loses a back-and-forth against Poirier, his star will be greatly diminished.
Had he lost to Diaz again, it would’ve been harder to sell him as a lightweight contender to the title. He may not have gotten that Mayweather fight.
The stars aligned for McGregor then. But now, he’s lost three of his last four fights if we include the boxing match.
If he loses to Poirier again making another loss for Conor Mcgregor, he’ll be a 1-4 fighter who won’t be getting a title shot and will have his options limited.
Fans turn on fighters on a whim – losing support
Even the McGregor diehards have a limit. Outside of his immediate circle, many McGregor fans can turn on him if he becomes a loser in the sport.
After all, this is prizefighting. You have to be worth something to compete, and a losing fighter, even one as big as McGregor, is much harder to market. So what would another loss mean for Conor McGregor?
If McGregor does lose, he may end up retiring. The rumoured Manny Pacquiao boxing match will likely not materialize, and neither will Nurmagomedov come out of retirement.
So will McGregor resort to fighting other punching bags like Diego Sanchez or some lesser-known UFC fighter? Or maybe he’ll go the Jake or Logan Paul route or other retired boxers or celebrities.
These fights would likely still be popular given fans’ propensity to enjoy “trainwreck” fights. But McGregor would have essentially gone from a legitimate combat sports superstar to a novelty fighter or a “freakshow” specialist.
Given all his antics and legal transgressions, many probably already see him in this light anyhow.