McGregor slams back into the octagon

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

After his six-month suspension resulting from a post-fight brawl against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor stepped out of retirement and climbed into the octagon to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone last Saturday.

With a completely new outlook on his career, Irish UFC star known as The Notorious looks completely fresh coming into his first fight of the new year. Though he sees himself as the same young man, much has changed for him since 2019.

“I certainly have turned over a new leaf… I definitely feel reenergized and refreshed,” McGregor said during the pre-fight interview.    

With a higher standard for health and training, McGregor felt that when dealing with sports, his body needed to come first, not glory and riches.

“My health, my fitness, and that [has] helped me. And then you’re going to acquire even more when you’re sharp, and that’s what I am now,” McGregor said during Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

To extend the longevity of his career, McGregor took notes from NBA superstar LeBron James to invest more into his body. McGregor not only spent more money on his body, but he trained more in preparation for the first UFC fight of 2020. When he ran his own training camp, McGregor capitalized on everything in a UFC fight. From conditioning to mixed martial arts training, McGregor had everything covered before his fight.

“[The training camp] has been fully structured. I have a team of experts in many different fields…I had a set time for my practices…It was as structured as I’ve ever been,” McGregor said.

With the preparation he had, he came out victorious in his return against Cowboy. Not only was it a decisive match, but it was one of McGregor’s fastest, lasting only 40 seconds into the first round. Within the first 10 seconds of the match, McGregor had Cowboy bleeding from his eye with shoulder hits in the clinch. Coming out of the clinch, McGregor threw  an explosive left kick to Cowboy’s head sending him stumbling and noticeably hurt. McGregor pummeling  Cowboy with strong elbows and punches afterwards gave the TKO to McGregor.

Though McGregor looks good back in the UFC octagon, he still has many obstacles to reach his former glory.

“I’m in shape. I don’t believe I’m there yet though just like I want to do. To get back to where I was,” said McGregor in his post fight interview.

With ambitious goals ahead of him, McGregor promises a “mega year” for his fans. His new mentality on health has boosted his confidence for his future fights. Though it is too early to judge, UFC fans should prepare to see a resurgence in McGregor’s dominance at the lightweight and welterweight classes.