While Conor McGregor’s recent first-round loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 was ultimately decided by a freak leg break that left the Irish MMA star unable to continue, it ultimately wasn’t a surprise to see Poirier win.
Having lost three of his last four fights, with only one win coming since 2016, his career appears to be in a nosedive he can’t pull out of. McGregor is seemingly no longer able to get inside opponent’s heads with clever trash talk and mental warfare, and his recent attempts to do so may have proven the existence of karma.
On the latest episode of the CBC Sports video series Bring It In, Morgan Campbell is joined by Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin to discuss McGregor’s recent loss, and the idea that his trash talking and fighting abilities have reached a new low.
“What he’s good at, with a lot of support from the UFC and with a lot of support from ESPN, is generating attention and selling the idea that he’s still as good as he used to be,” Campbell said.
“But every fight the highlights on the pre-fight sizzle reel get older and older. This man is getting further and further from his peak but is very good at convincing people to think that the next time out he will be as good as he was in 2015, and he’s not that anymore.”
Despite McGregor’s efforts to revert back into the old version of himself, an elite striker who would consistently gain a mental edge over his opponent, Zirin talks about how the Irish star’s recent results speak for themselves.
“We have no material evidence in recent years that Conor McGregor knows what he’s doing, and I think that showed itself very clearly in this fight,” Zirin said.
WATCH | Bring It In panel wonders if karma is catching up to McGregor:
Campbell and McPeak break down the question of whether karma came back to haunt McGregor, with his trash-talk devolving into malicious threats while failing to have the impact it had during his glory days.
“He said he was going to kill, like literally kill, Dustin Poirier,” Campbell said. “He said Dustin Poirier would leave on a stretcher. Conor McGregor wound up leaving on a stretcher.”
McPeak points out that without the ability to back his words up, McGregor’s pre-fight antics now seem to get him into trouble inside the cage instead of giving him an advantage.
Campbell also spoke about how, beyond just being ineffective, McGregor continues to show that he lacks the creativity he once possessed.
“If the only thing you can say is ‘I’m going to kill you’ or ‘I’m going to shoot you’, then your supply of catchy trash talk one-liners is empty,” Campbell said.
Building on the notion that his best days are behind him, Zirin says McGregor is now known more for his outbursts and incidents than his ability as a fighter.
“He’s perfect for being the kind of person in 2021 who gets attention for all the reasons except actually being good at his profession,” Zirin said.
The panel also breaks down the significance of the U.S. men’s basketball team’s recent upset loss to Nigeria in an exhibition game ahead of Tokyo 2020.
The star-studded Olympic favourites also lost a second consecutive exhibition contest Monday against Australia.
WATCH | Bring It In Panel discusses U.S. men’s basketball’s loss to Nigeria: