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Islam Makhachev Says Conor McGregor’s Declined as a Fighter, Due to “Serious Bender”

Islam Makhachev [1] isn’t claiming that Conor McGregor isn’t still a talented and dangerous fighter. But, the lightweight contender believes the star’s not the force he used to be. Why? According to Makhachev, the former champ’s on a big time “bender””.

Conor McGregor
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

McGregor’s incidents and allegations

If you follow McGregor, and since he remains one of the biggest names in combat sports, it’s kind of hard not too, then you know he continues to make the news. Some of it is due to speculation about his next bout, comments he’s made about fighters etc, but, there’s also been plenty of coverage tied to incidents and allegations.

McGregor made headlines earlier this year for smashing the phone of a man who tried to take his photo, and this past summer, video surfaced of him striking an elderly man in a Dublin pub. [2]Those incidents are in addition to the new now infamous, dolly throwing incident at UFC 223. [3]There’s also been reports that McGregor is being investigated in connection to sexual assault allegations [4], which his team has vehemently denied.

Makhachev’s contention McGregor has declined

Well, recently Makhachev did an interview with RT Sport [5], and the Russian fighter had this to say about McGregor (quotes via MMA Junkie [6]):

“He is a good fighter, and you can make a name for yourself fighting him and make some good money,” Makhachev said through an interpreter. “But he is on a serious bender right now, and I don’t think he is as good as he used to be.”

“It bothered me a bit when he was talking trash before his fight with Khabib (Nurmagomedov),” Makhachev said. “Now he has taken a beating, and I realize that he is talking just to stay relevant. We’ve seen him talking a lot before he fought Khabib, but that was just words and nothing behind them.

“(Khabib) shares my point of view that Conor has already taken a beating, so it makes no sense to pay attention to what he’s saying. I was watching their first presser, and there were moments when I thought I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself if I were in Khabib’s place.”

Now, we don’t really know if McGregor’s been on a “bender”. But, even the star’s biggest supporters would acknowledge that he’s been involved in some troubling incidents.

And what about a decline in his abilities? That’s also hard to say as we haven’t seen much of McGregor since 2016. In 2017, he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match, and last October he was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

One thing does seem pretty clear, however, questions about whether McGregor can reclaim a UFC title continue to make the rounds.