Gallagher: Conor Looks Better Than Ever
When UFC 229 rolls around in early October, it will be nearly two years since Conor McGregor last stepped foot inside the UFC Octagon. McGregor will clash in a long-awaited and heavily anticipated lightweight title clash with rival and champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.
After spending all of 2017 welcoming a son into the world and pursuing a lucrative boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, some may worry that McGregor will have ring rust heading into the Khabib bout. But if one were to ask James Gallagher, a Bellator fighter who has trained with McGregor at SBG Ireland for nearly 10 years now with coach John Kavanagh, McGregor looks “better than ever.”
“He’s got that fire back inside of him,” Gallagher said. “When you’re on the top of the world like he’s been for so long, you need to chill out for a little bit to get that hunger back. It’s hard to keep that hunger when you have everything that you’ve ever wanted While he’s been away, Khabib has been creating some hype and getting himself in a position to fight Conor.
There are a lot of people who see Khabib as a serious threat, so I think that’s given Conor a push to step up and say, ‘Nah, mate, I’m the champ around here — you’re not on my level.’ I think Conor’s going to show Khabib who’s boss and put him back in his box.
McGregor has not fought in the UFC since November 2016, when he stopped Eddie Alvarez in the second round to become the first man to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, a feat which only since has been matched by current UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. McGregor’s ability to hype a fight with trash talk has given the UFC record-setting pay-per-view numbers — something they seem to have struggled with since his disappearance from the cage.
Gallagher feels that with McGregor’s track record of proving doubters wrong — such as when he stopped Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo en route to becoming UFC featherweight champion — he can set the world on fire once again come October.
“You can buy all the cars and everything else, but you can’t buy a challenge like this. The thrill of competition is what is driving him,” Gallagher said. “Conor has beaten everyone the UFC have put in front of him. He climbed to the top of a division and he won a belt, then he won another belt…he loves a challenge.
People are saying that Khabib is the guy now and I know that Conor is thinking, ‘I’m going to show all of these people again.’ He’s got a fire inside of him to show everyone who is the boss.
Original Story: MMA Fighting