In 2013 Conor McGregor was collecting Welfare. In 2016, he made roughly $40 million and is one of the most successful athletes on the planet. The UFC's first ever Two Belt Champion. A baby on the way. What more can Conor McGregor do?
Last night at MSG we saw Conor McGregor make history, as he put Eddie Alvarez away with a second round knockout, escaping the fight virtually untouched, and showing the world just how dominant his stand-up game is. His left hand, blessed with the kiss of death, can put anyone away. They know its coming, and they know its power, but they cannot stop it.
2016 was quite a year for Conor, as he rolled into the year with a newly won 145-pound belt, and the entire fight world at his fingertips. He would go on to take his detour through the Diaz fights, learning and growing more from those two fights than any fight before, and finally coming full circle to achieve his dream and promise of being a two weightclass champion. What McGregor was able to do for MMA in 2016 surpassed anything in the sports history, growing the popularity and obsession for the sport 10-fold. Hate him. Love him. Loathe him. There is no denying his impact and what he brings to each card. He sets PPV purchase records every fight, with more and more people tuning in to see him, whether they watch with the hopes of seeing his patented left hand finish, or hoping to get a glimpse of his mortality, the need for him to lose.
The question for Conor now is - what's next?
Does he release one of the belts like Dana White has vowed he will? Will he fight for his chance to defend both belts? Will he go for a third belt? I truly cannot answer any of these questions because if there is one thing Conor McGregor has proven its that he does not follow any mold, he does not follow any rules, he is writing his own story, and at his own pace. With a kid on the way, Conor says he wants to see how things shape out for his family and himself. He wants a bigger piece of the UFC pie, and I think the UFC is running out of ways to deny him it.
He is like nothing we have seen before, and while his future is still uncertain, especially in the fight game, but if there's one thing we know about Mystic Mac, it is always worth watching.