Conor McGregor reflects on preliminary doubts after UFC 264 injury, wishes two fights in 2023

Conor McGregor is aiming for a busy 2023 campaign.

With filming wrapped on The Closing Fighter 31, the former two-division UFC champion made a particular in-studio appearance Wednesday on The MMA Hour, the put he seemed relieve on his street since UFC 264 and seemed forward to his upcoming UFC return. McGregor is made up our minds to face fellow TUF 31 coach Michael Chandler later in 2023, and if he has his druthers, it’ll be the first of a two-struggle agenda for what’s shaping as a lot as be his comeback year.

“For sure [the goal is two fights in 2023], I will stumble on it consuming ravishing fast when it strikes,” McGregor suggested host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “We’re gearing up and there’s plenty occurring within the relieve of the scenes and all, nonetheless I feel it’ll creep fast. There’s no arena why it shouldn’t creep fast. So I engage unhurried summer season [for Chandler], per chance a bit bit later depending — I’d like that. After which after all, that’s peaceable half the year left.

“I desire for consistency. I’m working for consistency. Fancy I acknowledged sooner than, I’ve had this on-off thing for about a years and it’s been tense, nonetheless be it for assorted causes. Nevertheless I’d purchase to horny gain past that and horny gain into this consistency bracket. And I feel I will, I feel I will, and I’m angry for it.”

McGregor, 34, has now not competed since badly injuring his left leg within the 2d of relieve-to-relieve stoppage losses on the hands of Dustin Poirier in 2021.

The grotesque injury in a roundabout plot sidelined McGregor for added than a year and required intensive rehabilitation to conquer. McGregor admitted Wednesday that he even before the total lot doubted whether he’d ever be ready to struggle another time at full strength, on the opposite hand those doubts hasty subsided and had been replaced by motivation to blueprint himself relieve for a UFC return.

“At the time, I believed, ‘, per chance I received’t be ready to develop this another time.’ For sure, that modified into as soon as in my thoughts,” McGregor acknowledged.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a vogue. In case you’re willing, you’re ready. You’ve only got to gain at guys just like the opposite ‘Infamous’ within the game, the absolute most realistic other ‘Infamous’ within the game is a man, ‘Infamous’ Nick Newell, with out a hand. There’s a vogue. In case you’re with disabilities or one thing that’s wicked, that potentialities are you’ll well well gain a vogue to compete. Gape at, there’s one other man, Zion Clark, a wrestling champion — he’s got no lower half of his physique. I seen him on the match, he had his MMA debut horny now not too long within the past, received, nonetheless I stumble on him stroll on his hands. I’m by no methodology stopping this. I’m persevering with. I’d wheel out into that octagon and was the launch guard if I couldn’t brace on the leg. That modified into as soon as in my thoughts, that modified into as soon as my thoughts.

“So thank God, my surgeons, the clinical doctors, the UFC care that I had, and the total encourage that I got, I modified into as soon as ready to recuperate from it,” he persisted. “And I’ve got the vitality within the leg, I’ve ready to brace on it, I’m ready to kick with it. I’m kicking exhausting, I’m kicking fast. And likewise you most effective keep in mind I’m trying to select this man out with the steel bar on my leg, for sure.”

McGregor confirmed that his struggle against Chandler will likely occur at 170 kilos. The Irishman has bulked up greatly since his injury and called for a welterweight title shot if he’s ready to interrupt his two-struggle chase and bewitch his comeback struggle.

Successful a belt at 170 kilos would gain McGregor the first-ever three-division champion in UFC historic past. He previously earned titles at featherweight in 2015 and lightweight in 2016. McGregor holds a 2-1 file as a welterweight within the UFC, splitting a two-struggle series with Nate Diaz sooner than demolishing Donald Cerrone in precisely 40 seconds in his most modern bewitch.

Nevertheless a place a query to of motivation peaceable looms spruce.

Why would McGregor even have to place himself in such hazard another time, in particular after landing at No. 33 on Sportico’s contemporary list of the tip 50 absolute most realistic-paid athletes of all-time?

The acknowledge, it turns out, is inconspicuous.

“Competition, man. Competition. It’s the absolute most realistic buzz ever,” McGregor acknowledged. “Why would you now not have to develop it? How would you now not have to gain this stroll and skills this total thing? It’s extremely addictive and I’m extremely addicted. So that’s it.”

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