There is an old adage in combat sports that it is wise to let the dust settle after battle before making kneejerk decisions about your future, but Conor McGregor has never really been someone to take note of orthodox ideas and long-held virtues.
At UFC 264 he will action an immediate rematch against Dustin Poirier, a man he took too lightly back in January, as the two fighters go toe-to-toe for the third time in their careers.
Is this a bad idea for McGregor? Will defeat spell the end of his reign of terror over the lightweight division? Here are a couple of cautionary tales from the annals of MMA history.
Having recently been named the highest earning sports star in the world, does McGregor still have the fire in his belly to train to win?
Gracie v Shamrock 3
Sometimes rematches come too soon for a particular fighter and at other times there is too much of a gap between fights, meaning one man has waited until his rival’s powers have diminished, and the betting odds are firmly in his favor.
Such was the case with Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, who fought an epic first fight in which Gracie came out on the victor. A second less dramatic fight ended in a draw, but it was their third and final bout that took place under the auspices of the Bellator banner that really raised eyebrows. Gracie battered Shamrock and ended the fight in the very first round, effectively ending the latter’s career. This was a sad ending to a career that had seen Shamrock top combat sports odds lines for years.
It would be a shame for the same to happen to the Irish star. Although there are no signs in the Dustin Poirier v Conor McGregor betting odds to suggest that he has let himself go as badly as Shamrock had, it only now takes one punch for him to be put into retirement against his will, because would Dana White welcome him back after another loss?
McGregor could be convinced to hang up his gloves if he loses for a second time to Poirier
Couture v Liddell 3
UFC 57 was the backdrop for what would be an unnecessary third fight between two spent forces in the shape of Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture.
The two men had contested two of the best fights ever seen in the octagon and singlehandedly revived Dana White’s organization in the process, so pitting them against one another seemed to be a rather pointless affair.
Liddell won the third fight easily, but few people cared. Hopefully the third fight between Poirier and McGregor does not garner the same reaction from fans.