UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is surprised Conor McGregor is still popular after his recent controversies outside of the octagon.
McGregor has been involved in several controversial incidents throughout his career. Most recently McGregor was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and attended his court case, which was adjourned before facing four charges later this year.
Volkanovski believes McGregor’s behaviour often allows him to get more money for his UFC fights and is targeting a legacy fight with the Irishman himself. “I don’t know man, maybe it is that money,” Volkanovski said during an interview on the Jordan Ellis Show.
“I can’t tell you, but he’s done some crazy things but yeah, that was one thing that, well, it surprises me how many things like he could do [and I think to myself] ‘ls this the one that does him?’ or people like that but next minute he’s probably getting more zeroes on his next fight, you know what I mean.”
He later added to TMZ Sports: “He’s another champ in my division that I haven’t taken out. I’ve taken out everyone else. So it makes sense, as well, on top of the circus, money… Conor McGregor has held that belt in my division and yeah… I’ll get on with that GOAT status. Take out all the champions, you’re f***ing saying something.”
McGregor has suffered a huge recent decline inside the cage having won just one of his last four fights in the UFC. However, despite his misfortunes, McGregor remains the most sought after fighter in the UFC and was ranked as the highest-earning sportsperson last year by Forbes after his two lucrative meetings with Dustin Poirier.
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He is expected to try and return to action later this year after making a well-documented return to training, in addition to a recent sparring outing for the first time since breaking his leg. The Irish star has shown off a new ripped physique and has confirmed he will likely return at 170lbs, which would rule out any meeting with Volkanovski.
Division champion Kamaru Usman i s being targeted by the Irishman who is keen to distance himself from his recent misfortunes outside of the cage to focus on his comeback. However former pro fighter Josh Thomson believes McGregor is “done”, having lost his dedication to fighting. “Conor McGregor can say whatever he wants,” Thomson said.
“He is not one hundred per cent dedicated to fighting. And even if he became one hundred per cent dedicated to fighting, we still would not see the Conor McGregor of old. It just wouldn’t happen.
“He stepped away for too long, his mind is going in a hundred different directions, and he has a huge family now. Going on his fourth kid coming. It’s just not there anymore. And he continued to sit here and say that it is.”