Every January, people traditionally make New Year Resolutions; so what kind of resolutions would a UFC superstar like Conor McGregor make?
Five New Year Resolutions Conor McGregor could make in 2021:
#1 Fight in the UFC on multiple occasions
Conor McGregor is undoubtedly the UFC’s biggest star right now. After all, ‘The Notorious One’ has been able to draw over a million pay-per-view buys for the last six UFC shows he has headlined. No other fighter in UFC history can boast numbers like that.
However, since he won the UFC Lightweight title back in November 2016, Conor McGregor has been a part-time UFC fighter, at best. In fact, since that victory over Eddie Alvarez, the Irishman has fought in the UFC just twice – doing so against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Donald Cerrone respectively.
Two calendar years – 2017 and 2019 – went by without Conor McGregor stepping into the Octagon. While 2017 could be excused, as that was the year in which the Irishman pursued a mega-money boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, it’s safe to say that two fights in four years just isn’t enough.
That’s why Conor McGregor should look to fight in the UFC on at least two, if not three occasions in 2021. It’s not like he’s incapable of doing so – he fought three times in 2015 and 2016 for instance - and the UFC would surely embrace the idea too, given the money that the Irishman could bring in.
#2 Avoid getting into trouble outside the Octagon
If Conor McGregor really does want to climb back to the top of the UFC ladder in 2021, one thing he probably needs to do is keep his nose clean outside of the Octagon.
Conor McGregor’s rise to fame was meteoric. For the first part of his UFC career, his ‘Notorious’ nickname simply pointed to his ability to talk trash and get under the skin of his opponents inside the Octagon. However, that has changed in the past few years.
The Irishman has become embroiled in numerous legal battles outside the UFC: an arrest in Dublin for sexual assault, an arrest in Florida for strong arm robbery and criminal mischief, and another arrest in Dublin for assaulting an older man in a pub.
Most recently, Conor McGregor was arrested in Corsica on suspicion of attempted sexual assault. While he was eventually released without charge, it’s clear that the Irishman’s notoriety is now following him far away from the UFC.
Conor McGregor should look to keep a clean slate outside the octagon in 2021. If he wants to get back to where he was during his rise to fame – laser-focused on climbing to the top of the UFC – he should ensure he avoids any more legal trouble.
#3 Avoid getting into a pay dispute with Dana White
Conor McGregor’s long absences from the UFC have often frustrated his massive fanbase. However, the truth is that a lot of the time, these absences have been self-imposed. On more than one occasion, the Irishman has found himself at odds with the UFC’s brass, particularly UFC President Dana White.
These impasses have contributed massively to his absences from the Octagon. Most of the time, they have centred around McGregor’s pay-cheque or lack thereof. However, the bottom line is that these disputes over pay – like his pseudo-retirement in 2019 – are pretty ludicrous.
Conor McGregor already earns millions every time he fights in the UFC, earning money not only for actually fighting, but taking a percentage of every pay-per-view that he helps the promotion to sell.
Could he make more money? Well, yes. His mega-fight with boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather reportedly netted him around $30m – much more than he’s ever earned in the UFC – but in the current climate of MMA, Conor McGregor needs the UFC just as much as they need him.
With that in mind, it’d be better for all parties if ‘The Notorious One’ could avoid any disputes with White in 2021 and keep himself firmly in the UFC’s good books.
#4 Win the UFC Lightweight title back
If Conor McGregor does indeed decide to fight in the UFC on multiple occasions in 2021, his eventual goal should be pretty clear: to regain the UFC Lightweight title, which technically speaking, he never lost.
For those who have forgotten, Conor McGregor – then the reigning UFC Featherweight champion - first captured the UFC Lightweight crown back in 2016 when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez. That made Conor McGregor the first fighter to simultaneously hold UFC titles in two different weight classes.
However, the Irishman never defended either of his titles, instead relinquishing them in order to pursue his fight with Floyd Mayweather. He did attempt to regain his UFC Lightweight crown in 2018 but fell short in a fight against then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, Nurmagomedov is now retired, and the title is once again vacant. That means if Conor McGregor defeats Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 this month, he will be one victory, at worst, away from regaining his crown.
Considering that he has already beaten Poirier once, this doesn’t seem like an impossible goal at all. If Conor McGregor focuses fully, then it’s something that could well be achieved midway through 2021.
#5 Get 'Conor McGregor Promotions' off the ground
Back in 2017, when he was negotiating his mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor announced that he had formed his own promotional company – McGregor Promotions. However, since then, we’ve heard next to nothing about this company.
At the time, the reports around McGregor Promotions suggested that the Irishman had simply created the company to attempt to bypass the UFC when it came to negotiations with Mayweather, and Conor McGregor’s own quotes seemed to back that up.
Of course, when the fight did take place, ‘The Notorious One’ came to an agreement with the UFC, and so the idea of McGregor Promotions appears to have fallen by the wayside.
However, could 2021 be the year to change that? Perhaps. And while the initial idea was possibly for Conor McGregor to promote himself, by this point that could have changed too.
Conor McGregor is now 32 years old, and exactly how many years he has left at the top of the UFC is a big question mark. So could he use 2021 as the year to begin to get McGregor Promotions off the ground and maybe look to use it as a breeding ground for future UFC stars like other promotions such as Cage Warriors?
If nothing else, it’d mean he’d have a steady income once his fighting career with the UFC finally ends.Published 04 Jan 2021, 10:38 IST