“The Notorious” Connor McGregor is reportedly in negotiations for a return to UFC.
The lightweight champion has not been in professional UFC competition since November 2016, when he became a two-weight champion. His longtime trainer, John Kavanagh, revealed to ESPN that the lightweight champion has once again found his competitive spark.
“I do see [McGregor] very hungry, coming down to regular jiu-jitsu class and throwing a gi on. Strength and conditioning. There’s a real fire back,” Kavanagh told ESPN. “I really have seen the spark back lately.”
The possibility of a return will hinge on more than just McGregor’s competitive ability, as he’s facing legal problems for attacking a UFC bus in April. He is reportedly working on a plea deal for his next court date later this month, but there is no telling what further action UFC will take against him.
If UFC does allow him to return, they will likely be pushing for him to face off against Khabib Nurmagomedov, the currently undefeated champion. After being out for almost two years, McGregor would need quite a bit of training to stand a chance.
Aside from the months he spent preparing for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, McGregor has spent most of the past two years focusing on business ventures. McGregor makes significant money from endorsements with Monster Energy, Burger King and Beats by Dre. He also has several of his own digital properties, including phone apps.
Kavanagh said that the focus on business over the past few years has been McGregor’s attempt to insure that he will be financially set when he can no longer compete.
“I think [his competitiveness] was directed at other areas of his life for a while, building up his business world – which is completely justified,” Kavanagh said. “We all know the hard-luck stories of fighters retiring broke. They get pats on the back and they’re forgotten.”
McGregor, whether he returns to UFC or not, is not likely to be forgotten because of his unorthodox fighting style and brute strength.
Featured Image via: Flickr/Andrius Petrucenia