It is hard to believe that is has been nearly a year since Conor McGregor has stepped foot in an official UFC fight, given that he is unquestionably the biggest star in mixed martial arts. During the promotion for his widely publicized boxing match with Floyd Mayweather many questioned how quickly the Irish brawler would be driven to return to the sport after earning a sizable purse. McGregor shot down those rumors quickly.
“I love a true fight with elbows, knees, and bone,” said McGregor emphatically. “Have you ever bounced a knee off a nose? Ever dug an elbow into a temple? It’s an unusual and nasty feeling. But one that I just enjoy. It’s something that I just love to do, so I look forward to getting back to MMA and having a true fight.”
During a recent Men’s Journal interview with strike coach Owen Roddy to promote McGregor’s new documentary Notorious, it seemed like the lightweight champ is eager to get in the octagon, within the year if UFC president Dana White is to believed, though the opponent is still up in the air. “I personally thought that the clear choice would be the trilogy match against Nate Diaz,” says Roddy. “But Tony [Ferguson] is doing well as the interim champion and calling Conor out. I have heard more and more fans asking for this one, and the fact is if the fans want to see something, it is usually what happens.”
Further hints are found in the social media exchanges between McGregor and Ferguson, with a few Grand Theft Auto-themed shots being fired.
The challenger, whoever he ends up being, may want to check out Notorious when they get a chance. The documentary spotlights the Dublin-born fighter’s rapid ascent up the ranks, from dodging bill collectors in Ireland to dominating the fastest growing sport in the world to hanging out with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not to mention countless knockouts by that devastating left hand, which according to Roddy only gets better with age.
“Conor has had that big power from day one,” says Roddy, who has held mitts for McGregor since the two met in Dublin’s Straight Blast Gym. “The man has this surprising long-range arm and sledgehammer fists. My hands are starting to really feel it. My arms are not looking forward to the next camp.”
Check out the trailer for Notorious below and find it in select theaters now.