After a disappointing showing at UFC 257, where he came out of retirement only to lose to Dustin Poirier, Conor ‘Notorious’ McGregor has been schooled via social media by Henry Cejudo.
“Take notes” McGregor
The former Flyweight and Bantamweight champion took to social media to reflect on his considerable accomplishments in the UFC, finding time to get a jab in at McGregor in the process.
Cejudo’s tweet, reading “8 years ago today, I proclaimed and willed myself into the Triple C”, may have sent the Twittersphere spiralling into confusion, but he is, of course, referring to both the start of his full-time MMA career after making the transition from wrestling and the night he defeated Marlon Moraes to claim his third title belt.
UFC 238 was one of the most publicised fights of 2019 and gave Cejudo the Bantamweight strap, making him just the fourth fighter in the history of the promotion to simultaneously hold titles in two weight divisions.
Cejudo would go on to defend the belt against Dominik Cruz at UFC 249, his sixth consecutive win, but would immediately announce his retirement from professional MMA – much to the scepticism of a number of his stablemates and UFC commentators.
So far, and unlike McGregor, Cejudo has remained true to that retirement. However, he has told Dana White that he could be coaxed out with a super fight against the current reigning UFC Featherweight belt holder, Alex Volkanovski.
McGregor’s Shocking Loss
UFC 257 did not go Conor McGregor’s way at all. Still riding the coattails of his 40-second KO against Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, McGregor was his usual loud-mouthed self in the run-up to January’s rematch.
Having memorably made short work of Dustin Poirier during their first meeting in 2014, it was widely assumed that January 21st 2021 would result in the same outcome.
Come fight night, however, it was Poirier who walked away as the victor, taking a TKO win at just 2.32 minutes into the second round. It was a poor showing from the once-lauded former champion, however, it seems that over a year of inactivity is largely to blame for the “shocking loss”.
Meanwhile, everyone from Jake Paul to Floyd Mayweather has weighed in on McGregor’s performance. The YouTube “personality” has been itching to fight McGregor in the boxing ring since his second professional fight against Nate Robinson, and couldn’t contain his glee as he giggled his way through a video response posted to his Twitter account.
The derision kept coming from ‘The Money’ Mayweather too. The fifteen-time title holder referred to his former opponent as a “bum” who “will never be me or be on my level”.
A more balanced response came from WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury. After both McGregor and White both declared that the time away from the cage was the most detrimental to McGregor’s performance, Fury agreed that “inactivity kills the cat, no doubt about it”.
The “Mess” in the Lightweight Division
McGregor’s loss didn’t just result in a disappointment for the Irishman, it also sent White’s plans for the Lightweight Division into a tailspin, promoting Justin Gaethje to firmly lay the blame for the “mess” in the Lightweight division at the President’s feet.
A serious of events that would be worthy of an MMA soap opera has meant that Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the reigning lightweight champion, despite retiring from the promotion after successfully defending it at UFC 254.
In the run-up to UFC 257, it’s no secret that White was aiming to set up a rematch for the belt between the Nurmagomedov and McGregor, but that potential set-up went awry with the knockout win by Poirier.
Having finally faced reality and accepting that Khabib probably wasn’t going to come back, White suggested a match-up between Poirier and Michael Chandler. However, Poirier, now in a much stronger position, has countered by saying he only wants to fight Charles Oliveira for the belt, leaving the division in a no-man’s land with a champion who’s been vacant from the promotion for over 3 months.
And, with the current lightweight golden boy, Michael Chandler, being left opponent less for UFC 258, it could be some time before the problems in the division are fully resolved.