I think the UFC set him up very nicely to be able to win both those belts, the way he earned the title match for the first belt and then goes directly to fight for the belt higher up. How many times did the UFC do that?
We could make a long list of fighters and say similar things about many of them.
Not living up to percieved potential is a common theme among athletes, and fighters are no exception.
It’s a conversation as old as fight sport.
That said – and this is my personal opinion and observation – I never saw GOAT potential in Conor.
Best case scenario:
Even being the GOAT FW, wouldn’t put a fighter high on the absolute GOAT list.
And Conor didn’t dedicate himself to that weight class in terms of career legacy.
Although I might disagree about Conor’s ultimate potential – even if we did agree – there is a pretty long list of fighters I think would have been much better in “could of, should of” world.
Some of my favorites fall into that category.
I am giving Conor full credit for his big wins.
I have said he is very good, and at times was great.
Opinions vary – but I think I’m being fair in spite of disagreements.
Historically, I think the conversation is more about fighters who spend a career taking advantage of weight cutting – vs guys who have more of an “anyone anytime anywhere” type mentality.
You can’t really blame guys for taking advantage of the rules – but I think it’s fair to put things into context too.
We’ve all seen Tito standing next to Fedor, and look at the size of guys he beat on his initial run.
That’s just one example.
All of that said – Conor did step up in weight and regardless of his record outside of FW – I don’t really think the weight cutting is a significant talking point in Conor’s career or legacy overall.
Obviously he was better at FW – but moving up in weight should be worthy of credit, win or lose.
I love that Dustin is totally willing to break him again. He said he would fight him on the sidewalk lol
I doubt Conor ever fights Poirier again though, by now he knows he has his number and can easily maul him on the ground. Those were some nasty elbows, you could see his soul leaving his body, Dustin was talking to him also lol it was priceless to see.
Herb is always so stoned lol, he couldn’t even see Conor kept cheating grabbing the glove while upkicking even after Dustin spelled it out for him, Dustin almost got caught with that too, fucking pathetic that mental midget.
What are you basing that off of? He steamrolled everyone in front of him. His movement, footwork, angles etc. was phenomenal and he had a nuclear warhead of a left. Is it Nate? a zombie who he was lighting up? That was his worse performance pre Floyd…but it’s fucking Nate, I don’t think you can judge it on that, no other fighter would have taken what Conor gave Nate that night. Even then he learns from it, gets better and avenges the loss.
All of Conor’s bad performances…which equals 3, was after Floyd. All the fighters you can say “could of, should of” isn’t comparing apples to apples when talking about Conor, they didn’t have $100m in their pockets while being world famous…We have a precise moment to look at where it went off the tracks with Conor.
To say he never had the GOAT potential is just plain silly, I don’t think you’d get any MMA coaches who coach a fighter in the UFC to agree with you, I don’t think Mike Brown who just coached against him to agree with that. They all would have been drooling to be his head coach. The only way you can say, “he didn’t have GOAT potential” is by using hindsight and masking it like you knew all along
I agree with this. We saw deficiencies in the Mendes fight – his TDD was suspect. But, Anderson Silva had suspect TDD was is also a GOAT candidate.
Resilience later became his greatest liability. But, until the Nate fight, we never saw resilience issues. His Mendes fight showed resilience and other worldly confidence. I’ll never forget his absolute confidence after escaping Mendes’ guillotine attempt. This was a guy who KNEW he was going to win, and nothing was going to break him.
The Nate fight was when his mental fragility started to show. But, it wasn’t until after Floyd that it became more apparent.
I think its silly to say he ever had GOAT potential.
A very good fighter who had moments of greatness?
But ne never even got within smelling distance of being considered among the greatest to ever do it – unless of course you put a lot of stock in money and popularity – which isn’t what I’m talking about.
A lot of you guys are just too easily impressed IMO, and quick to buy into the hype.
“”"""""""“The only way you can say, “he didn’t have GOAT potential” is by using hindsight and masking it like you knew all along”"""""""""
I’m not masking anything.
I 100% never put Conor on that level, and said as much time and time again on this very forum.
If I get time later maybe I’ll look up an old Conor thread I posted on.
Regardless, there are plenty of members here who would probably remember that I was never once – not even a little bit – on the Conor bandwagon.
He always looked beatable to me, and 100% of the “GOAT” talk was ridiculous.
And I’m not tooting my horn here.
I’ve been wrong plenty of times… but I was right about Conor.
And yes, full credit for KOing Aldo.
Again… moments of greatness.
As far as Conor “avenging” the Nate loss … meh.
Sure, he got the win.
But winning a decision in a back-and-forth fight, isn’t really great revenge for being dropped and tapping out in the middle of the ring.
GSP avenged his loss to Matt Serra.
Nate has the better of Conor head-to-head.
And I think Khabib crushes any version of Conor – Floyd or not, money and fame or not.
Just a bad matchup.
Conor never really developed the tools to deal with that pressure.
He would have to catch Khabib early.
“”""""""""""“All the fighters you can say “could of, should of” isn’t comparing apples to apples when talking about Conor, they didn’t have $100m in their pockets while being world famous…We have a precise moment to look at where it went off the tracks with Conor.”""""""""""""
I disagree with this too.
There were plenty of fighters who were rich and famous and continued to do their thing, just like there were plenty of fighters who we can point to specific falling off points.
You’re saying that because Conor was “more” rich and “more” famous, that he had more of a reason for losing fights?
That seems pretty thin to me.
Everything is relative.
If Conor lost his hunger as soon as he got comfortable, then that was probably always going to be the case with his career.
I could point out guys that arguably had better reasons than Conor to start losing though – such as chronic injuries – or being so dominant for so long that the nature of competition at the highest level just caught up to them.
To me, it was a matter of Conor facing guys who matched up well with him and weren’t necessarily at a size disadvantage.
What was Conor’s plan B when he wasnt outclassing a guy on the feet??
Ultimately, I think the best argument Conors fanbase had for his potential GOAT status – was the idea that he would continue to dominate in higher weight classes and look as good as he did at FW.
He indeed had some success in doing that, and I think it’s fair to say he was one of the better fighters of his era.
I just think his popularity and celebrity status had more to do with his image and his mouth, than his actual ability as a fighter – which again was very good and at times great, but never GOAT level.
You’re basing it off of what you already know to be true after the fact. Any credible professional fighter and coach who is being objective would not deny Conor had the ability to become one of the greatest ever. It wasn’t even who he beat, it was the manner in how he did it, how he moved etc. As I said, take the character and personality out of it.
You’re still overlooking the point, you don’t know and we don’t know how good he would have been if he dedicated himself, the only thing we know is…he didn’t. So what did he do when he couldn’t outclass someone on the feet?..let’s look. When he was dedicated to the sport he couldn’t outclass Max Holloway on the feet due to getting injured early…what did he do? To Max fucking Holloway? Of course that wasn’t close to the best version of Max because what did Max do after that fight? He got a whole lot better. What makes you believe if Conor did what Max did he wouldn’t have gotten better himself? You have nothing to believe he would have just stayed the same 'ol fighter and not improved dramatically.
It doesn’t make any sense and I think it is you that is actually reading into the character, personality and hype. I’m talking about only fighting. It isn’t crazy to have believed back then that someone like Conor was going to go off the rails, that wasn’t a wild prediction and I believe you did think that, you could almost see it coming. I’m talking strictly fighting and if Conor put in the same work that got him to the UFC and the same work when he was dedicated to getting to the top instead of the size of his bank account and fame, there is no reason on earth to think he wouldn’t have been one of the best ever.
Here, I’ll give you a specific example of Conor’s ability and innovativeness as a fighter.
I can’t think of anyone else who has a one punch or kick destroyer, that with movement and footwork purposefully got their opponent to move away from that power. Conor purposefully would get people to move to his right and used their training and preparation in doing that against them. Siver and Mendez fights off the top of my head, he also had a great ability to understand his opponents movements and tendencies, more so than the average fighter by far, Aldo is a great example. His timing and ability at distance control was far above almost everyone, Alvarez comes to mind. He wasn’t just a plain old good fighter, he had legit, top of the game skills and abilities.
You call those, “moments of greatness” but that is what being called one of the greatest ever is…a career full of greatness and you don’t know how many more would have come had he stuck to that mentality instead of going in the direction he did.