Conor McGregor admits he 'fell out of love with the game' during his time away from MMA — but he's now 'itching for a fight'

Getty ImagesConor McGregor.
  • Conor McGregor admits he fell out of love with the sport of mixed martial arts, and no longer competes for money.
  • What motivates him instead, is the thrill of competition – and he is apparently looking forward to giving UFC 229 opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov’s brain a good “rattle.”
  • The Nurmagomedov fight this weekend is the first in a new six-fight deal that McGregor recently struck with the UFC.
  • He says he is “itching for a fight.”
  • Read all of Business Insider’s UFC 229 coverage right here.

Conor McGregor returns to the UFC octagon for the first time in almost two years when he challenges Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight championship on Saturday, October 6.

And in a YouTube interview with his own media company,, the Irish striker admitted that “he fell out of love” with the sport during his time away.

Since McGregor last contested a UFC fight, a second round stoppage win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016, he stepped into the boxing ring to fight Floyd Mayweather (but lost in the 10th round), launched his own whiskey label, Proper No. Twelve, and unveiled a new clothing line called August McGregor.

But now he has returned to doing what he is best known for – fighting. “I’m here for the love of this game, for the love of competition,” he told TheMacLife. “I fell out of love with the game for a bit, went off and did my own thing for a bit, but now I’m back and ready to compete.”

As a two-weight champion in Cage Warriors and UFC, McGregor has proven himself to be an elite competitor – and has a chance to reclaim the UFC lightweight world title when he takes on Nurmagomedov this weekend.

“I spent my entire life’s work to win those two UFC world titles. I set out a goal. I sacrificed so much to gain those world titles.”

Inactivity saw the UFC strip McGregor of his lightweight belt, something which he admits is one of many things that “irritated” him while he was away. But that made him even more motivated to come back and “show them who the real king is.”

McGregor also said he is no longer motivated by money. In his last bout, that conclusive loss to Mayweather last year, the Irishman earned $US85 million, according to Forbes. He has now said he is “not in this for the money.”

Regardless, he is “itching for a fight.”

Nurmagomedov is unbeaten in 26 mixed martial arts contests. The fight this weekend will be McGregor’s 25th. To date, he has 21 wins to his name with 18 of those coming by way of knockout.

And McGregor seemingly predicts a similar method of victory on Saturday, as he believes Nurmagomedov’s “brain will get a rattle when he gets a clatter off me.”

The Nurmagomedov bout is the first fight in a new six-fight deal that McGregor recently struck with the UFC. It is unclear who he will fight after, but it could involve a trilogy bout with old rival Nate Diaz, or a potential welterweight world title bout against Tyron Woodley.

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