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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Harry Davies

Conor McGregor rival reels off 15 fighters who would "destroy" UFC star

MMA coach Rafael Cordeiro has insisted that Conor McGregor would be beaten by all the top-15 ranked fighters in the UFC lightweight division.

Former two-weight champion McGregor, 34, makes his fighting return after over two years away from the cage when he faces Michael Chandler later this year. 'Notorious' is without a win in over three years and his lack activity accompanied by his back-to-back defeats to Dustin Poirier in 2021 saw him lose his lightweight ranking last December.

Cordeiro, who coaches one of McGregor's UFC rivals in Rafael Dos Anjos, has insisted the Irishman would have to fight some unranked at lightweight to have any chance of winning. “There’s Arman [Tsarukyan], a super tough kid. There’s [Mateusz] Gamrot, [Dustin] Poirier, [Justin] Gaethje. A lot of people. [Rafael] Fiziev, super tough guy,” he told MMA Fighting.

“Those are names that, f***, I’d much rather watch them fight than Conor and everybody fights him now for what he represents. He’s lost that challenge thing, ‘I wanna fight Conor because he’s tough and knocks everybody out.’ No, it has gotten to a point where people couldn’t care less about that. ‘I wanna fight this guy because he generates good money.’ That’s what they worry about.

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“People worry more about those top-15 guys than Conor now, to tell you the truth. These top-15 guys today, they’d all swallow Conor. Nothing against Conor, but, unfortunately, the time away, the leg surgery, the [lack of] motivation, the money, the drinking, looking swollen of booze.

"He’s living life like crazy, so you lose the interest a little bit. He’s doing The Ultimate Fighter now, the Conor show, but where’s the guy in the mountains, training quietly? That’s the champion. When you have media ahead of everything else you automatically lose a bit of the hunger."

Conor McGregor is without a UFC win in over three years (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

McGregor has insisted he is returning because of his love of competiton, despite having little left to prove in his legendary UFC career. The Irishman wants to become the first ever UFC fighter to win belts in three weight classes, but Cordeiro doubts he can still fight at the top level.

“It doesn’t happen overnight,” Cordeiro added. “Conor didn’t get to where he is today overnight. It was growing, but unfortunately he didn’t have people around him to say, ‘Talk less, don’t say this.’ It’s important because otherwise you lose the notion of things and it becomes trash talk. When you have to talk more than fight, you have a problem because whatever you’re doing inside the octagon isn’t worth much anymore."

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