After all his success in the sport you’d be forgiven for wondering what’s left to motivate Conor McGregor ahead of his rematch with Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Saturday night, but ‘The Notorious’ appears to have the answer, and it sounds like it’s set to fuel his desire to fight for years to come.
“I feel like I’m only starting,” the 32-year-old McGregor said at the UFC 257 pre-fight press conference. “Everyone wants to kind of (say), ‘Hey, Conor, you’ve done it all. You’re so rich. You’re richer than Dana (White) over here. What are you doing here?’ Am I not allowed to be here? I want to be here. I want to perform for the fans. I’m a young man. I’ve got many highlights – you know, all the money, all the belts, everything. That comes and that goes. You know what lives on? Highlights – a fighter’s highlights.
“You look at Roy Jones Jr.’s highlights, Mike Tyson’s highlights, (Muhammad) Ali’s highlights. I want my highlight reel to be like a movie. That’s what I’m after. I’m looking to get in and perform (and) put on amazing highlights that I can sit as an old man with my son and just watch back and just enjoy life.”
McGregor also said that he also still has the desire to climb to the top of the mountain again and regain the title.
“I have plenty of motivation. Dustin is a hell of a competitor. What does the champ-champ do? He does it twice. OK, I conquered it. Let’s conquer it again. Do it twice. That’s what the champ-champ does.”
As for rematching Khabib Nurmagomedov, it’s clear that is still a major goal that he still wants to accomplish, but as things stand he’s not going to force the issue.
“I don’t really care,” McGregor said of Khabib’s recent comments suggesting he’s still leaning towards retirement. “He did not say that, Dana said that. Let’s just get through the fight. All these men are up here, there’s plenty of challenges. It’s a tough business. Things have gone on in his personal life, I don’t wish him any harm. Like I said, it was in 2018, a lot of time has passed.
“The world knows this fight is not over. The war is not over. The sport needs it to happen. The people need it to happen. I’m not going to chase it if he doesn’t want it. That’s it. I’ll keep my calm and move on. That’s what I’m doing. I’m back here at the 155-pound division. I’ll show the world what’s what over time and that’s it. It begins on Saturday night against Dustin Poirier.”