Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been some time since we saw Conor McGregor compete in the octagon. As frustration grows among the UFC lightweights, McGregor remains defiant in his message to the fans…

Modern MMA is a far cry from what it was years ago. Not only have the rules, production and many other aspects changed, but now the power is steadily starting to shift. Undoubtedly, the UFC is still top dog, but now certain fighters hold weight where they never could previously.

Retired fighters such as Randy Couture, Cung Le, and Nate Quarry are lobbying for changes in Congress. With the Ali act seemingly on the verge of changing MMA and particularly the UFC forever, we could witness a completely shifting landscape in the sport.

Among active fighters, only one man seems to have the sway to demand and receive insane paychecks. That man, of course, is Conor McGregor. His story is a prime example of a fighter being worth hundreds of millions to the UFC, but the promotion is reluctant in negotiations still.

Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Give & Take

During an unprecedented run with the UFC, McGregor was given a title shot at lightweight after holding an undefended featherweight belt for nearly a year. Then, in perhaps the craziest moment in sports history, ‘The Notorious’ crossed over to boxing to face Floyd Mayweather.

Profitable as this farce was to all parties involved, it’s certainly going to sting the UFC where it hurts. Now that he’s made 100 million for a single fight, McGregor is holding out for a massive payday with the UFC.

All this time, the lightweight title has been undefended since McGregor won it in November 2016. With a statement to fans asking when he will defend or fight next, McGregor was defiant:

Nobody Knows

That’s the truth behind this situation, nobody knows if McGregor will ever fight again. Even if he does, it could be in boxing. Nate Diaz recently announced he was off to the squared ring, and Manny Pacquiao confirmed he is in talks with McGregor for a 2018 boxing match.

The big question is, will the UFC strip McGregor, take legal action against Pacquiao or hold Diaz back given the current climate? With the promotion and sport under massive scrutiny in Congress, everything is being watched closely, especially the UFC’ conduct.

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor is introduced before fighting against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Picture This

For argument’s sake, say the UFC cannot come to terms with the Irishman to get him back in the octagon. Are they going to sue their biggest star if he wants to box again? Also, will they prevent Diaz from doing something they allowed McGregor to do only a few months ago?

Double standards, contract issues, threats of legal action and a lightweight title dying to be defended. WHAT. A. MESS.

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