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Conor McGregor's Career-Defining Fights Ranked From 'GOAT' To 'Absolutely Awful'

Daniel Marland

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Conor McGregor's Career-Defining Fights Ranked From 'GOAT' To 'Absolutely Awful'

Conor McGregor's biggest fights have been ranked from 'GOAT' to 'Absolutely Awful' ahead of his UFC return against Dustin Poirier.

The Irishman faces Poirier at UFC 264 on Saturday night in a trilogy bout that could define his entire career.

McGregor lost to Poirier back in January in a shock result and many believe their third and final fight is crucial.

Ahead of that contest, SPORTbible have decided to look back at the 'Notorious' and his career so far - the fights that made the man who changed the fight game.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Right at the top in 'GOAT' territory is a win over Nate Diaz back at UFC 202, which solidified McGregor as a legit draw and proved he could bounce back from defeat.

Diaz had made McGregor tap at UFC 196 in the second round and it was his first loss inside a UFC cage.

It came at a crucial moment in his career, with many wondering if his superstardom had been squashed early on.

What did McGregor do? Put in an incredible performance, at welterweight no less, en route to a decision victory.

McGregor vs Diaz II helped UFC 202 become the promotion's highest-grossing PPV with 1.65 million buys and stayed top for an additional two years [until McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov - more on that later.]

Three fights slot in the 'Good' tier, including 2020's demolition of Donald Cerrone and the fight that gave birth to the 'Champ-Champ', victory over Eddie Alvarez.

Image Credit: SPORTbible
Image Credit: SPORTbible

Victory over Alvarez saw McGregor win the lightweight title and become the first man in history to hold titles in two different divisions at the same time.

Poirier makes his first appearance in the TierMaker after being knocked out in less than two minutes back in 2014.

In 'Decent' are triumphs over Chad Mendes as well as the 32-year-old's debut fight, a knockout of Marcus Brimage.

Also making the cut is a defeat to boxer Floyd Mayweather in their lucrative exhibition bout in 2017.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

McGregor managed to go 10 rounds with 'Money' and despite not being a trained boxer, he showed some promise between the ropes.

A rematch has been mooted for sometime as has a fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Time for controversy in the 'Fluke' category. 2015 saw McGregor decimate Jose Aldo inside 13 seconds in a fight that has become legendary.

So short even YouTube can't delete it for infringing copyright, commentator Joe Rogan's call of "Conor's relaxed and smiling.... OHHHHH HE SLEPT HIM!" has become iconic.

But is it time to admit there was an element of luck in it? A master of mind games, McGregor had managed to get into his opponent's head in a number of press conferences.

That weighed heavily on the Brazilian and you can argue he was beaten before even stepping foot into the MGM Grand Arena.

13 seconds though? It couldn't be repeated, taking nothing away from the accomplishment. A one in a million result.

For all the highs in McGregor's career, there have also been lows. Two stand out in particular.

'Absolutely Awful' includes McGregor's defeats to Poirier back in January and his performance against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.

Out of action for around a year, McGregor took on Poirier once again on 'Fight Island' and slipped to a loss.

He failed to deal with 'The Diamond' and his deadly leg kicks and lost via TKO.

Worse than that was his performance against Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

Each man has a passionate hatred for the other and were involved in every controversy under the book.

But when it came down to action in the cage, Nurmagomedov completely schooled McGregor in the first two rounds before losing the third.

However, he came back strong in the fourth and forced McGregor to tap out.

It was a huge setback on the grandest stage and it saw McGregor 'retire' in 2019 before deciding to return.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Check out our full rankings below:

GOAT: vs Nate Diaz (UFC 202)

Good: vs Donald Cerrone (UFC 246), vs Dustin Poirier (UFC 178), vs Eddie Alvarez (UFC 205)

Decent: vs Chad Mendes (UFC 189), vs Marcus Brimage (UFC on FUEL TV 9), vs Floyd Mayweather (Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor)

Fluke: vs Jose Aldo (UFC 194)

Absolutely Awful: vs Dustin Poirier (UFC 254), vs Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC 229)

Do you agree with our TierMaker? Do you think McGregor will defeat Poirier on Saturday?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor Mcgregor, Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, UFC, MMA

Daniel Marland
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