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McGregor Aiming to Save His UFC Legacy Against Chandler

Conor McGregor’s meteoric rise to the pinnacle of mixed martial arts (MMA) is the stuff of legend.

The brash Irishman conquered the lightweight and featherweight divisions in the UFC, establishing himself as the undisputed face of the sport. 

McGregor became famous for his flamboyant antics. He berated opponents and had several run-ins with his bosses, earning the nickname ‘The Notorious’. 

He did a lot of talking, but backed up his loud mouth by showing supreme counter-striking ability against numerous top-class opponents.

Ireland had a new hero and supported their own as only the Emerald Isle can. They were raucous when the UFC show went to Dublin as McGregor faced Diego Brandao in 2014. 

Tickets had sold out in hours, while online sportsbooks were inundated with wagers on a sport which had previously garnered little interest in Ireland.

The best betting sites in Ireland were flooded with wagers on McGregor and he delivered the goods in style, finishing Brandao with a flurry of punches in round one to claim a ‘fight of the night’ bonus.

McGregor’s in-ring prowess and bullish style catapulted his fame, making him the face MMA and the darling of sports bettors across the world.

However, his popularity ultimately led him down different paths. He has leveraged his superstar status well, delving into several other sectors including movies.

McGregor has not fought in three years, and his upcoming fight against Michael Chandler at UFC 303 on June 29 will determine whether he still has a future in the sport.

A win could be the spark that reignites his flailing fighting career, while a loss could potentially damage his once-glorious legacy.

Victory Over Chandler Could Spark a McGregor Revival

A win over Chandler could kickstart McGregor’s momentum after losing his last two fights against long-term adversary Dustin Poirier. 

Poirier claimed revenge for his loss to McGregor at UFC 178, beating up his lead leg with kicks before teeing off a barrage of blows that sent McGregor to the canvas. Their third match-up ended with the Irishman sustaining a horrific leg injury and conceding victory.

The fact that McGregor is even considering a return to action after such an injury shows his mental fortitude.

The sharp counter-striking specialist didn’t cherry pick an easy match-up either. He is gunning for former Bellator champion Chandler – a tough nut to crack.

If McGregor can sharpen up his boxing and striking ability back to previous levels, he has every chance of walking out with the victory.

The Irishman will have the height and reach advantage against Chandler. He needs to work on finding his range better from the outside and can claim victory if he does.

McGregor’s wide stance was also a problem in the Poirier matches. This allowed the American to connect constantly with his leg, unbalancing him, and he needs to address that. 

If McGregor defeats Chandler, the UFC will likely feed him another contender before a title shot. Welterweight champion Leon Edwards is already anticipating a potential clash, claiming he would welcome the opportunity to face McGregor.

A more exciting match-up lies at lightweight, where he could face Islam Makhachev, who has already demolished most of the top guys in the division.

Makhachev is the protege of McGregor’s rival Khabib Nurmagomedov. What a narrative it would be if he could grab a win over the Dagestani star and return to the top of the food chain.

However, those fights may never come to fruition as McGregor no longer looks like he has the discipline that took him to the top of the sport.

He has been spotted drinking and partying since Dana White announced the fight, leaving many people wondering why he even bothers fighting anymore.

McGregor recently released footage of a gruelling session, which was surprising, considering he has been everywhere but in the gym over the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, Chandler has gone about working on a return to full fitness ahead of the fight. A win against McGregor would boost his already respectable CV. He could be the man to put the nail in the coffin of McGregor’s career at the elite level of combat sports. 

The 37-year-old has the wrestling advantage and could use that as a surprise weapon against the Irish fighter who has struggled when taken to the ground. 

Despite being inactive for a year and a half now, Chandler has been more recently active than McGregor, who has not fought in three years.

This fight is a make-or-break moment for McGregor. Lose this fight, and he can kiss any hopes of reclaiming his lightweight or welterweight titles goodbye.

He might still get a top-15-ranked opponent, but it will be clear that his days in the elite category are over, closing the curtains on a memorable career before it ends badly. 

This contest is not only a fight to hold on to his spot at the top but a battle to save his legacy and keep it respectable.

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