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22 May, 2021 15:05

Not the champ champ: Conor McGregor is skewered as ‘not that guy anymore’ in wounding putdown by UFC king Usman

Not the champ champ: Conor McGregor is skewered as ‘not that guy anymore’ in wounding putdown by UFC king Usman

Conor McGregor has lost his sparkle and has fallen far enough to no longer be considered a special fighter among his fellow UFC fighters, welterweight king Kamaru Usman has said in his latest jibes against his potential opponent.

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.

"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".

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 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