Conor McGregor: 'You want to get in, take over, own the game, and then get the f--- out'

Jared Wickerham

Conor McGregor is focused on returning to the Octagon, and 'whooping ass' on his way to a UFC title

Conor McGregor's total Octagon time comes in at sixteen minutes and seven seconds. That's an infinitesimally small amount when compared to the time the No. 14 ranked fighter in the UFC's featherweight division has spent promoting himself since joining the UFC in 2013.

True, McGregor has had plenty of time to make the media rounds since he blew out his anterior cruciate ligament during his August 2013 unanimous decision victory over Max Holloway. However, McGregor was already receiving an inordinate amount of attention from the UFC PR team, as well as from an eager MMA media corps prior to that injury.

And why not? McGregor is a charismatic and talented fighter. He's like a younger version of Chael Sonnen in his abilities with the microphone, minus the lines lifted from professional wrestling's heyday. It also doesn't hurt that McGregor is Irish, and the UFC is always looking to promote fighters from countries where they are eager to establish a foothold.

McGregor, still rehabbing from the September surgery that repaired his torn ACL, flew to London to participate in a fan question and answer session (via MMAJunkie.com) prior to the weigh in for UFC Fight Night 37.

During that appearance, the 25-year-old McGregor said he would be interested in coaching an Irish contingent for a possible U.K. versus Ireland take of The Ultimate Fighter, but that his real focus is becoming UFC champion, "Right now my mind is on the gold, and everything else is just a side thing, but if they (the UFC) wanted me to do that, I would do that no problem. That would be a great experience. Right now I'm focused on coming back, whopping ass and climbing my way up the ladder."

Some of those that may be on the list of fighters he wants to whoop ass on are Cub Swanson, Cole Miller and Diego Sanchez, all fighters McGregor has had twitter spats with in the recent past. McGregor said of that trio, "I want to fight them all eventually. People think that I'm saying things, but I'm just replying. There's been a lot of stuff (said) between Diego, Cub, (and) Cole. In due time I'll whoop every single one of them; you best believe that."

Those three fighters were most likely not on McGregor's Christmas card list. In fact, it's hard to fathom that any fighters he may eventually face inside the Octagon would make that list after hearing comments like the following from McGregor, "This is the fight game were in. We're not here to make friends with our competitors. Our dreams involve other people's nightmares, unfortunately. You just have to accept that." McGregor continued with that thought saying, "If you're not in this game to take over at all costs, then you shouldn't be here. Unfortunately, the game we are in you have to step on a few toes or necks maybe. It is what it is, you just have to get on with."

It is plainly clear that nothing short of a UFC title is going to satisfy McGregor. If he does realize that goal, or even if he doesn't, don't expect him to hang around the sport past his expiration date, "It's a dangerous game we're in, you don't want to stick around too long," McGregor said. "You want to get in, take over, own the game, and then get the f--k out."

McGregor's return date has not been set, but don't be surprised to see him near the top of the July 19 fight card the UFC has scheduled for Dublin, Ireland.

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