Conor McGregor appeared to be focused on his lasting legacy in the world of mixed martial arts as he prepared to face off against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Saturday.
McGregor has not been in the UFC lightweight title picture in a while. He is currently No. 4 in UFC’s rankings for the next contender for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s belt. He has Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira and Poirier in front of him.
So why is he back? McGregor explained earlier in the week.
“I feel like I’m only starting, man. Everyone wants to say, ‘Hey, Conor, you’ve done it all! You’re so rich! You’re richer than Dana! What are you doing here?’ I want to be here. I want to perform for the fans,” McGregor said.
He added a telling comment on how he wanted to be remembered. He wanted his name to be mentioned with the greats like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali.
“All the money, all the belts, all that comes and that goes,” McGregor said. “You know what lives on? A fighter’s highlights. Look at Roy Jones Jr.’s highlights, Mike Tyson’s highlights. I still look at them today. Ali’s highlights. I want my highlight reel to be like a movie. That’s what I’m after. I’m looking to get in and perform and put on amazing highlights that I can sit as an old man with my son, and just watch back and just enjoy life.”
McGregor’s antics have toned down in recent years. He’s no longer interrupting press conferences with the unabashed attitude and edge that helped him get to the pinnacle of the sport and pushed him into a cross-sport spectacle bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
One thing still weighing on McGregor ahead of the fight is a multimillion-dollar lawsuit he faces in Dublin, Ireland. He is facing a lawsuit from a woman who claimed the UFC fighter raped her in 2018, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The woman reportedly filed the lawsuit after police and prosecutors declined to press charges against the MMA superstar.
The woman filed a personal injury lawsuit and alleged that she was left with bruises on most of her body after the 2018 incident, according to the newspaper. The suit is reportedly seeking between $1.79 million and $2.13 million in damages.
McGregor dismissed the suit as “old news” during the week.
“It was investigated thoroughly over the course of 2 long years and I was cleared of all wrongdoing,” he said.
If legacy is the focus for McGregor heading into UFC 257, the lawsuits and allegations against him may outweigh whatever he does in between the cage and the ropes in the end.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.