Conor McGregor as well as U.F.C. Attempt a Shift Away coming from Heel Status

Ideally, multiple athletes might fill of which role, the way elite quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers as well as Russell Wilson all function as N.F.L. standard bearers. although while McGregor was inactive, the U.F.C. did not always have just one, standout, crossover star.

The former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey played of which role from the mid-2010s, although she has not fought since 2016, after back-to-back losses, as well as she has not publicly expressed interest in returning.

Her predecessor, the longtime welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, took a four-year hiatus starting in 2013 as well as ending which has a November 2017 win over Mike Bisping. Last year, St-Pierre, a Canadian, retired for Great.

The light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who currently tops the U.F.C.’s pound-for-pound rankings, rode a string of spectacular wins to stardom from the early 2010s. although arrests as well as three failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs have sidelined him for long stretches, limiting his profile.

McGregor can be unambiguously famous, however, as well as in a sport where pay can be proportional to the size of the audience a fighter draws, a star at the top of the roster has additional U.F.C. fighters envisioning their own paydays.

Jorge Masvidal, a welterweight contender who beat Nate Diaz in a November fight at Madison Square Garden of which was attended by President Trump, can be in line for a fight with the champion Kamaru Usman. although Masvidal told reporters on Thursday of which he might rather fight McGregor, framing the choice as a business decision.

“If me as well as Conor go from the octagon, what happens? of which’s one of the biggest fights in history,” Masvidal said. “Just by math, proven by what Conor’s been doing, the last couple fights of which I’ve had — the engagement, the pay-per-views.”

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