Matt Brown on Conor McGregor: ‘He’s not going to do anything significant ever again’
Conor McGregor may have announced his plan to return to fight Michael Chandler in June, but Matt Brown still isn’t convinced it’s actually happening.
Following months of delays and rumors about his next bout, McGregor made a surprise announcement on social media on New Year’s Eve about finally booking the matchup against Chandler, which will come 15 months after they squared off against one another as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31. McGregor sounded confident in his declaration and Chandler already accepted the date, but the UFC has yet to actually announce anything as official, much less kick off promotion for the Irish superstar’s long awaited return.
“It ain’t confirmed until it’s signed,” Brown said on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. “I’m still not convinced it’s going to happen. That’s why I asked if it was confirmed.
“Is Conor going to fight again? I know he announced that. He loves being in the spotlight. He likes everybody talking about him. He likes that we’re talking about him right now. That’s what he lives for now. I don’t believe it still. Until I see it, I’m not going to believe it.”
In the past, McGregor was considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, especially after he became the first person in history to hold two UFC titles simultaneously. That accomplishment happened back in 2016 when McGregor dispatched Eddie Alvarez to become UFC lightweight champion after already claiming the featherweight title with a stunning 13-second knockout over Jose Aldo.
Since beating Alvarez more than seven years ago, McGregor has gone 1-3 in just four UFC appearances, losing bouts to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. His last outing ended in disaster after McGregor snapped his leg in gruesome fashion in a rubber match against Poirier, an injury which has kept him sidelined for nearly three years.
Despite not fighting, McGregor still managed to amass a huge fortune thanks to selling off his signature whiskey, which reportedly fetched a price around $600 million.
It’s all those factors combined that have Brown not only questioning if McGregor will actually return to fight, but flat out doubting that he’ll ever be a relevant, top-ranked contender again.
“He doesn’t need to fight,” Brown said. “What purpose does it serve him? He’s not getting back to a title. He’s not going to do anything significant ever again. He’s got $500 million in the bank. What’s a few million for fighting somebody like Chandler? What’s that going to do for him? That would be like if I gave you $10. You’d be like, ‘Alright, what do you want me to do with this?’ It’s not even going to change your day, nonetheless your life.
“He doesn’t have any motivation whatsoever to do this other than being in the spotlight. But when he simply makes announcements and talks and comes in and out of the [testing] pool and does all this, everybody’s talking anyway.”
Brown believes that, deep down, McGregor knows he can’t hang with the best fighters in the world anymore, whether he’s back at lightweight or bulked up to welterweight.
Picking a fight with Chandler gives him a better chance at winning thanks to the aggressive style the former Bellator lightweight champion employs, as McGregor is best known as a devastating counter striker, but Brown says that’s still anything but a guaranteed victory.
“He knows that, too,” Brown said. “He’s not a dummy. Him picking Chandler was a smart move on his part. For one, because that is a fight that would get fans excited. That’s a fight we’d all like to see actually. It makes sense. All the pieces add up, where that fight actually makes sense. Chandler also engages with him and Chandler also hasn’t taken another fight in how long now? He’s taken the bait to the fullest.”
If McGregor really does make his return, Brown doubts the strategy pays off in the long run — at least when it comes to drawing matchups with the best fighters in the world.
The 42-year-old veteran can only see a long list of fighters who could build a name off beating McGregor, which the Irish superstar certainly doesn’t want.
“This sport moves quick,” Brown said. “These guys are f****** killers. Like a Drew Dober — I’m not picking Conor to beat Drew Dober. You could go down pretty far before you start saying, ‘OK, this is a surefire match for Conor here.’”