HISCOE: Can Conor McGregor return to form at UFC 246?

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Columnist

Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

With everything Conor McGregor has been through in the past year or so, it’s natural to wonder what exactly we’re going to get out of Conor McGregor when he steps into the cage against Donald Cerrone next weekend in Las Vegas. McGregor hasn’t won a fight in over three years – and since then he has 1. Made a tonne of money boxing Floyd Mayweather, 2. Gotten himself into a tonne of trouble, and 3. Not been doing a tonne of fighting. At least the official in the cage kind.

With all of the distractions and the lack of motivation big money can bring, McGregor has a lot to prove. He’ll have to earn back the credibility he had as UFC’s first simultaneous double champion. He may not be able to do that in one fight against Cerrone, but anything less but a stellar and dominant performance will leave fans wondering if McGregor can still compete at the very top level.

McGregor has been relatively quiet in the media and on his social platforms thus far in the buildup to the fight but he did post an interesting look into some training he did at UFC’s Performance Institute. The 3 minute 44-second video McGregor shared to Instagram showed him doing some pad work in a cage at the PI. Beforehand, McGregor is seen joking around and chatting before he laces up a pair of boxing gloves and gets to work.

It’s hard to glean too much from a short, edited training video but the fact that McGregor is doing any training has to be encouraging considering what he’s spent his time doing lately.

Conor McGregor may never perform at the level he did during his 2015 and 2016 ascension to superstardom but he, at the very least, appears to be motivated enough to try and get there. Cerrone is an adequate test to see where McGregor stands in 2019, but he’s not going to go down easy. Let’s hope that, win or lose, McGregor brings his best to the cage on Jan.  18.

More from Mike Hiscoe:

Rizin and Bellator continue Japanese year-end tradition while UFC makes way for football

UFC 245 Post-Fight News and Notes: Colby Covington hospitalized, Max Holloway questions judges decision, and more

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