Don’t expect the old Conor McGregor to ever return.
That’s according to former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping who believes the Irishman has achieved way too much to revert back to the hungry, trash-talking McGregor that captured the world’s attention.
“The Conor McGregor of old is just like the me of old. It doesn’t exist anymore,” Bisping told talkSPORT.com. “I’m a nice guy, I’m a pussy cat, but I used to be a bit of a nightmare. With Conor McGregor, it’s the same thing. The man’s loaded. He’s pulling up on $100 million yachts and got million dollar watches. He gets chauffeured in Rolls Royces.
“[Former boxing champion] Evander Holyfield said ‘it’s hard to get out and run at 6am when you’re sleeping in silk sheets’. Fighters, we’re hungry and want to turn it around. Maybe we’re cut from the same type of cloth or the wrong side of town. We like to fight and that’s our only hope. The dream is to make some money and turn your life around, he’s done that in a big way and he’s never going to go skint.
“That’s not an insult, that’s just the reality of the situation. It doesn’t mean he can’t go out there and have a great performance and win, because he can. It’s going to be a tough fight though.”
Oddsmakers certainly believe McGregor can win the fight as he is the slightest of favorites over Poirier at the time of writing.
And as far as Bisping is concerned, the winner of the trilogy should go on to challenge new champion Charles Oliveira for the lightweight crown.
“Whoever wins that fight should certainly go on to fight for the belt,” Bisping said. “They are the most high profile in that division and are ranked high enough – Dustin was an interim champion and Conor is a former champion.
“The fight, whoever wins that will fight for the belt, as long as they don’t get injured. Who knows how it will go. In the first fight, Conor knocked him out pretty quickly in the first round. In the second fight, Dustin knocked him out in the second round. The reality is, though, it’s going to be a great fight. Any time one person has beaten the other one, it makes the third one special.
“I think the psychological battle goes to Poirier, though, as he just knocked him out. I respect Conor McGregor for stepping in there like that. I’ve been knocked out in this sport before, the next time you fight there’s some psychological demons there. Conor is stepping in straight away against the person who knocked him out cold. I admire his courage there. It will be interesting to see how the fight turns out.”
Do you agree with Bisping?