The time has come for Conor McGregor to part ways with the UFC and pursue opportunities outside the UFC.

I’ve always been an enthusiastic supporter of the charismatic Irishman since his early days in Cage Warriors, after being introduced to him by a friend who shared the same love for combat sports. I had always been impressed by his overly ambitious character, unapologetic hunger and desperation to achieve his goals inspired me. His ability to knock out an opponent with his tongue was electric to watch. And of course, watching his rise and success through the UFC.

However, since the $100 million fight against Floyd Mayweather, I’ve found myself hoping the 21-3 lightweight champion vacates the title, or is stripped and pursues opportunities outside the UFC.

From the outside, it appears Conor has zero desire to return to the octagon and why would he? For the past decade he has trained extensively, with the occasional back to back fight, rescued cards with agreeing to fight last minute replacements, flown country to country to promote himself and the organisation, participated in countless press tours and media interviews. Most of all as a fighter, Conor has put his body on the line to pursue and achieve his dreams. The amount of mental commitment, sacrifice and dedication would, without a doubt, be exhausting. He’s achieved everything he set out to do, and more. How do you remain motivated when you’ve achieved everything that once motivated you?

Conor states, he has “more money than he knows what to do with”. His lifestyle includes private jets, copious amounts of cars, watches, staff, supplementary incomes and anything with a Gucci label. Add to all of that, fighting the undefeated Floyd Mayweather and the birth of Conor Jr, one has themselves a pretty darn good life, without having to step inside the octagon for a potential beating.

Speaking to the media recently, in November 2017, Dana White also expressed doubt to whether or not Conor would return, “Money changes everything,” White said. “He may never fight again. He has got $100 million in the bank. It’s tough to get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million”

Conor hasn’t expressed any intentions of fighting in the near future, only directives on Twitter of what it will take to return to the octagon, “Truly truly truly get on your f%#king knees and beg me. Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whisky is out this year and that’s diddy bread”

Discussing the belt situation on Yahoo Sports Dana said “I don’t think Conor wants to fight until August, but if he waits until August or September, that’s around two years since the belt has been defended and that can’t happen,”

As for the comments often thrown around that the UFC needs the influential fighter. This simply isn’t the case, yes he’s an asset to the organisation but when Conor is removed from the situation and spotlight, a window of opportunity is opened for the organisations next star.

When there is no motivation to fight, the money isn’t high enough and people aren’t ‘begging him’ then he needs to vacate and pursue opportunities outside of the UFC.