Conor McGregor destroyed Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in just 40-seconds at UFC 246. It was one of the most impressive showings of McGregor's career and his first win inside the octagon since November 12, 2016.
In between then and now, McGregor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Floyd Mayweather. Throughout all of that, McGregor maintained his popularity and increased his net worth, which will again increase thanks to the UFC 246 pay-per-view buys. With two losses in his last four MMA bouts, McGregor's air of invincibility was gone, but people didn't really seem to mind. After beating Cerrone in such quick fashion, he is finally deserving of the incredible hype that he creates for himself.
McGregor's swagger never left, but after the fight was stopped, it just seemed interesting again. He started by telling Cerrone exactly how he broke his nose and then he kissed him on the forehead.
A few minutes later he was hugging Cerrone's grandmother. Imagine beating someone up so quickly, decidedly and publicly that his grandmother gave you a hug? That's the affect Conor McGregor can have on people.
McGregor truly became McGregor again during his interview with Joe Rogan. He took over the microphone and the room. He promoted his whiskey in every size bottle.
Plenty of fighters have shouted out and proudly represented brands inside the cage, but have any of them ever actually purchased advertising for a business they actually own?
Finally, McGregor refused to call out any one potential opponent. Khabib, Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman ... it doesn't matter. They would all be lucky to be sucked into Conor's orbit for a high-profile fight and massive payday. It doesn't matter who holds what belt. Conor McGregor is the man with his hand on the golden faucet. He's who everyone wants to fight.
And for the first time in literal years, it's not just because he's the best at talking. He still is the best at talking, but he's also an exciting, dangerous fighter. He's the guy who won all those titles. He's the guy who was so good and so entertaining that fans not only allowed him to make his professional boxing debut against one of the best to ever do it, they paid for the privilege. That Conor McGregor is back.
Let's just hope he doesn't box anymore.