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As far as Stephen A. Smith is concerned, Conor McGregor’s days as a championship level fighter are over.
McGregor suffered a first-round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 this past weekend which puts him at three defeats in his last four outings.
Regardless of how the fight ended, with McGregor breaking his tibia which led to the doctor’s stoppage, many felt Poirier was well on his way to winning with two of the three judges scoring the first round as a 10-8.
Other observers went as far saying the performance of McGregor showed he was well past his prime as he was once again topped by Poirier in all aspects of MMA, similar to their rematch earlier this year.
Smith certainly agrees as he believes McGregor is more marketing than actual performance at this point in his career.
“The Conor McGregor of today is more a marketing tool than a legitimate weapon inside the Octagon,” Smith said on his show recently. “McGregor is on record saying that unless someone knocks him out, he doesn’t even see it as a defeat, that it means nothing to him. And he can feel that way if he wants, but everybody else, let’s just say we don’t track it that way. The UFC sure as hell doesn’t track it that way.
“Because on Conor McGregor’s official record, he’s got losses listed in each of his last two fights, in three of his last four fights, in four of his last seven fights! There are only three victories on this man’s record in more than five years.”
Smith: McGregor’s Championship Days Are Over
While Smith still believes McGregor is a superstar, at the same time, he doesn’t believe the former two-weight champion is capable of lifting UFC gold again.
“Any way you look at it, Conor McGregor is nowhere near peak form. At least that’s what his record says,” Smith added. “He may not think it means much if he isn’t losing by knockout, but it’s hard to look at his last five years and see a championship contender. [Khabib] Nurmagomedov and many others feel the same exact way.
“Conor McGregor, to be clear, is still as great as he ever was at talking, at instigating, and promoting himself and his events. Make that moolah. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. But his days as a fighter on a world championship level? That ended Saturday night when he hit the mat. Slice it any way you want to. I’m sorry, it’s over.”