Not the champ champ: Conor McGregor is skewered as ‘not that guy anymore’ in wounding putdown by UFC king Usman
Powerhouse Usman, who has impressed in his wins over Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns so far this year, lured McGregor into a typically furious riposte in April, with the Irishman calling him "carbuncles" and a "big spotty back pox" in one of his hallmark incoherent rants.
'The Nigerian Nightmare' taunted McGregor over his potential to knock anyone out in his current lightweight division and even said that he "might take his life in there" if the most lucrative man in the sport stepped up.
Now the man McGregor accused of "copying my shots" has weighed in again, claiming that his adversary's status among fighters has fallen starkly from his previous pedestal.
Status of champ champ 1.highest paid forbes athlete 180 million baby (if even usman fight for 200 yrs he will never able to make it)2.two division world champion 3.most knockout victories in title fight 4.the biggest pay per view draw And he is a regular fighter.— R J 😁🙏 (@Ruturaj90233489) May 22, 2021
What do his fight abilities have to do with being paid as best athlete?— Michael (@Dupi678) May 22, 2021
"He's not 'the champion Conor McGregor'," Usman told ESPN, calling McGregor "a loudmouth" and merely "a guy who can compete" rather than a force to be feared.
"He's not the double champion. He's not that guy anymore. The old Conor, the hungry Conor – that was the guy that fighters respected. Not that we don't respect him at all: he's still a UFC fighter, but he's just a regular fighter."
While McGregor's defeat in January to Dustin Poirier – an opponent he beat comfortably earlier in his career – removed some of the hype around his MMA abilities courtesy of his first defeat since losing to Russian legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, promoters including UFC president Dana White undoubtedly see the ex-'champ champ' of the featherweight and lightweight division as more than "regular".
I miss the old Conor set on his goals Conor Chop up the talk Conor The trash talk Goat Conor I hate the new ConorThe always rude ConorThe selling whiskey Conor The can't check leg kicks Conor and I love you like Conor loves not defending belts— Will posting his Ws online| Charles LWC🏆 (@uuhvaimorree) May 22, 2021
I like Usman but let’s not act like he was attending McGregor vs. Cerrone for the sake of it. He knows Conor brings home the bacon, like everyone knows.— Samuel (@SammyWaddo) May 22, 2021
The trilogy fight with Poirier is being tipped by some analysts as one of the highest-selling pay-per-view events in history, and McGregor is among the world's most financially valuable sportsmen according to widespread financial lists.
Even if he has no immediate intention of facing McGregor, Usman will know that it is in his interests to stoke a war of words with the temperamental 'Notorious', perhaps with an eye on one of the biggest paydays of his career should the pair ever be on a direct collision course.
Revenge over Poirier would put fifth-ranked McGregor well in contention for a crack at the lightweight title, meanwhile, moving above Tony McGregor after the American's defeat to champion Charles Oliveira at the weekend.
He ain't wrong tho. Money can change your hunger for the game and rightfully so. Every fighter who starts MMA is hungry; hungry to get wins and wins = money. Conor has achieved the highest level of money. So I see why he doesn't have that hunger anymore.— JR (@NotShogunRua) May 22, 2021
True though, after Khabib he has settled, got beat up by Dustin now too its like watching Tony be top guy to just a regular guy— oxc🔸️ (@ennjordyy) May 22, 2021
"He is right that Conor needs to remind people that he can still stand with those top guys, if he can," said one Usman fan in response to the comments.
"But the McGregor era – those years where he was finishing everyone and talking sh*t – were unforgettable and legendary. Most fun I've had as a fan ever."
Another argued that Usman "isn't wrong." "Money can change your hunger for the game and rightfully so," they added.
"Every fighter who starts MMA is hungry; hungry to get wins and wins equal money. Conor has achieved the highest level of money, so I see why he doesn't have that hunger anymore."Also on rt.com ‘He’d rip you in half’: Fans warn McGregor after cocky Irishman mocks Usman for ‘copying his shots’ in KO win over Masvidal