In every sport, there are more than a few star athletes who simply didn’t know when to hang it up.
These athletes played a little too long past their prime, and were ultimately shells of themselves in their twilight years.
The same is beginning to be said about this UFC superstar, but we may now finally know why he continues to fight past his prime.
When you talk about the most popular fighters of all-time, names like Muhammad Ali, George Forman, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather immediately spring to mind.
And right there with them for many is the UFC’s Conor McGregor.
In his prime, McGregor was legitimately the best fighter on the planet, and parlayed his success in the octagon and popularity amongst sports fans into bonafide celebrity status.
But now, McGregor’s best days are behind him, and since he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017 – an event that generated an insane $700 million in revenue – he hasn’t seemed to be at the same level UFC fans came to expect.
In fact, he’s lost two of his last three fights, and has won just three of his last six fights, leading many fans to question whether or not it’s time for him to step away from fighting.
Nevertheless, McGregor has seemed to have no interest in retirement, and is set for a rematch against Dustin Poirer, who he’s previously fought twice winning one and losing another, this weekend.
And in the lead up to that fight, UFC President Dana White was asked why McGregor continues to fight this late into his career, and America’s favorite sports executive gave the most perfect answer possible.
“Listen, Conor McGregor is a competitor,” White said in an interview with MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “All you’ve got to do is look. The guy has a ton of money. He doesn’t need to fight anymore. He wants to fight. He’s a fighter to the core. What’s at stake is, yes, he wants to be back on top. He goes in there and beats the No. 1 guy in the world, he’s probably going to get the next title shot.”
That’s obviously all true – McGregor has always been a fighter, both in the octagon and in his personal life as he previously fought to establish his career while being homeless.
Fighting is all McGregor has ever known, and it’s given him and his family a life most can only dream of.
But let’s be real here, there’s also more motivating McGregor’s desire to keep fighting.
There’s no doubt he loves the sport and loves competing, but there’s one other big reason he keeps putting himself through the physical abuse, as White also pointed out.
“The other thing Conor McGregor likes probably more than competition is money,” White said. “When he fights, he makes a shitload of money. These are all still very important things to him at this point in his life.”
And with that comment, Dana White once again hit the nail on the head.
Just like Floyd Mayweather and others, Conor McGregor isn’t fighting just to fight, he’s fighting because at this point in his career, any fight he does is extremely lucrative.
Why wouldn’t a guy just keep training like he has his entire life, and then get paid millions of dollars for like an hour’s worth of actual work?
At some point, McGregor is going to decide that the money is no longer worth it.
That point hasn’t come, though, and at least for now, he’s going to keep cashing those checks and fans will keep watching.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.