The UFC seemed to have big plans for Connor McGregor when he was signed in early 2013. Those plans seemed to suit the gregarious, young Irish fighter just fine because he too had big plans for Connor McGregor. Unfortunately, those plans were waylaid when McGregor tore his ACL in the process of defeating Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 26.
The injury required surgery, but McGregor doesn't expect his recovery time to mirror the two-plus years UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been on the shelf. Nor does he think it will take him the 11 months it took UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre to get back in the Octagon after his surgery. McGregor, speaking to Chael Sonnen and Kenny Florian o UFC Tonight was upbeat when assessing his recovery, saying he was ahead of the game and that, "I'm young, I'm dedicated. I'll nail this, no doubt in my mind."
The 14-2 McGregor said he is modeling his recovery on St-Pierre's, and that he is currently ahead of schedule and feels he could be back to fighting inside the Octagon in eight months.
When he does get back to action, McGregor has one goal, wearing UFC gold:
I honestly believe I can predict the future, and I see the gold around my waist. So, whoever has the gold at that time I'm coming to take it.
Currently Jose Aldo has it. I feel more than confident that I can cause him trouble. I'm bigger than him. I'm faster than him, and I believe he's less spontaneous. He's more basic. I don't see anything that jumps off the page when I look at him compete, or any of the guys when I look at them compete.
Dismissing the talents of the No. 3 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC shows that McGregor is supremely confident. His comments on the rest of the featherweight division will not leave the 25-year-old fighter lacking for suitors when he does return to action, especially considering that he has just two fights in the UFC, neither of which were against a top-ten opponent.
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