I’ve always maintained that every career in MMA has an arc. This sport more than any other exacts a heavy toll on the people who participate. And of course, the idea of an arc only applies to the ones lucky enough to improve and have some success. Each of the greats had a down slide, and there are always people there on the way down to wonder if they “were ever really as good as everyone said”. Saku, Chuck, Shamrock (most US fans never saw his apex), Big Nog, Fedor, Cro-Cop and many others leap to mind. And to my mind there are only two words that apply to all of them… world class.
So when we talk about Connor I think there’s a lot of revisionist history happening regarding where he stands on that list. I don’t like the guy as a personality, I never liked the guy. Self aggrandizing behavior, lack of humility or dignity never appeals to me, never will. And there are two words that I’d use to describe his career… world class. He SMOKED the who’s who on his way up and was a fucking meteor. Aldo, Alvarez, Mendez, Porier, Holloway etc. Is Connor a champion in life? I haven’t seen any evidence to support that idea, but is he one of the great careers in MMA? Unarguably yes.