Conor McGregor: What to Expect From the Return of the Mac

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The Mac is (almost) back! The UFC’s biggest-ever star has dropped interviews this week ahead of the release of his new film, ‘Roadhouse‘. Understandably, we had a fair amount of discussion over his pending UFC return, which both we and Conor McGregor expect to be this summer during International Fight Week.

The Notorious hinted this week that his return fight is more than likely to be against the man whom he coached against on last season’s TUF, Michael Chandler. The American is all action, takes one to land one and against McGregor, will have to mind his Ps and Qs. You can get great odds on the fight and many more with MMA betting.

Return of the Mac – Expectations

We can expect a number of interesting things from the return of the Mac. Firstly, he suggested that the call had been made and his return is confirmed, however, we haven’t got anything official from the UFC just yet. Dana White doubled down on this claim and said that he allowed McGregor to complete his filming commitments and disputed claims that White and McGregor haven’t spoken: “There’s no lack of communication. Not at all” White told the Pound-4-Pound podcast.

Secondly, the former double champion hinted that he could do something that he hasn’t done since 2014 when he faced Dustin Poirier for the first time. This is, compete over just three rounds. Speaking on the MMAHour, McGregor stated that he wanted rounds:

“Maybe I might say to them, ‘Look I’m just doing three rounds lads, for this one’.”

“And I just want to just wet my beak. I can do three rounds really nicely now. Rather than pushing through to get to five.”

We have to remember that, despite the fact that he’s been out of action for such a long period of time, he has been out due to a brutal leg break against Poirier in their trilogy bout. Pushing to achieve five-round fitness as well as being sharp after such a long time out of action could be a step too far for the Irishman.

Fight Ready?

We have to expect McGregor to be in solid shape, however, history would suggest that everyone who has returned from such an injury has never quite been the same after the injury.

Taking middleweights as an example, neither Chris Weidman nor the great Anderson Silva were ever their dominant selves after their leg breaks. Silva could never quite re-find the electric form that he once had which saw him be just so dominant. A combined record of 1-6-0-1 has seen neither man quite hit the heights they had previously.

Don’t forget, a large part of McGregor’s style is to be light on his feet, utilise his reactions and dart in and out of range. The knockout of Jose Aldo saw McGregor super light on his feet, stepping just out of range to land his devastating left hand.

It’s certainly going to be a tough ask to have him as nimble, quick and effective on the feet as he was in his prime because of, not only the leg break but also the thing that no man can beat, father time. It’s unrealistic to imagine that he will ever be as good as he was on the night of UFC 205, but if anyone can do it, McGregor can.

One thing we know for sure. The fight is going to be box office, we’ll all tune in, be captured by McGregor’s personality once again and be extremely excited along the way.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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