Former UFC dual-division champion Conor McGregor has been through numerous ups and downs over the past few years. From being stripped of both UFC titles to his blockbuster professional boxing debut opposite Floyd Mayweather to his out-of-the-Octagon legal issues, McGregor has been riding a rollercoaster.
Having sat out the past year following his UFC 229 loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor's UFC return has been anything but assured.
In a recent ESPN interview, however, McGregor said that there is no way he's stepping away from the fight game. In fact, he referenced rival Nate Diaz's recent return to the Octagon as a motivation for his own career.
"I’m just trying to find that balance and get motivated again. And I’m looking for inspiration everywhere. Like I said, I took great motivation from watching Nate go out and do his thing. And even looking at Nate, there’s many things that were amazing about that whole performance for Nate," McGregor said.
"One of the most important ones that stood out for me is that the very first thing that he said post-fight was 'the Nick Diaz army.' He gave a shout out to his brother and I hope his brother is doing well. I hope Nick is doing well, a soldier of the game, of the real fight game," he continued.
"And he gave him respect straight off the bat. It’s why the fans love Nate. It’s why I love and respect Nate. Even now with the cannabis strain that he’s coming out with. I hope he has his business mind screwed on because he’s in a position now where he could also make a generation like I have. And I hope to see that. These are the things that I’m just looking at taking motivation from to use in my game and to push me forward."
Conor McGregor's full ESPN interview
(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)