It’s been a rollercoaster year for the Notorious, but by the end of it, he became the most decorated UFC fighter in history.
This time last year, Connor McGregor defeated Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds to win the UFC Featherweight title.
The question was, what would he do next? A rematch seemed unlikely. The Notorious was done with the Brazilian, and instead began a quest to become the first double-weight champion in the sports history. The next class up was Lightweight, and the Irishman already had his eyes on the champion: Rafael Dos Anjos
The pair were expected to face each other at UFC 196 in March, but Dos Anjos broke his foot in training and had to withdraw.
Instead, McGregor moved up a further class to Welterweight to fight Nate Diaz. Many insisted the move up would be too big a jump, and although the 28-year old comfortably made the weight, he lost via submission in the second round. It was his first UFC defeat.
Once again the question was where would McGregor go from here? This next fight would make or break his UFC dream of winning two championships at the same time.
A return to Featherweight was an option, but instead he wanted to prove all his doubters wrong in a rematch with Diaz.
The pair met once again at UFC 202 in August.
The event would beat the record for highest Pay-Per-View sales in UFC history, but more importantly, it allowed McGregor to get his vengeance. The Irishman battled though five gruelling rounds, and won via majority decision.
“The motherf***ing king is back!,” exclaimed the Notorious.
It was a victory that re-sparked the belief and confidence he had back just after the Aldo fight.
He had regained his focus, and when he challenged Eddie Alvarez for the Lightweight belt at UFC 205 in November, many made the Irishman favourite for the fight.
UFC 205 was a special night. It was the first UFC event to be held in New York City, and was the scene for a piece of history to unfold in front of the world.
McGregor was in a league of his own, and comfortably made light work of Alvarez inside two rounds.
“I know I’ve been mean to some of the guys on this roster, and I want to take this chance to apologise….to absolutely nobody!,” he said after the fight.
“Now where’s my belt?”
He has done what no-man has achieved before. Yes, he has had to give up the Featherweight title as he can’t defend two at the same time, but everyone knows he cannot be laughed at anymore.
He has the company on its knees. The UFC might have new owners, but that won’t stop the Irishman running the show.
So what next for the Notorious in 2017? He has revealed he expects to become a father, and that could have an effect on his availability to fight in the second half of the year. Maybe that means he has a mega-fight lined up in the spring time, and one last hurrah before some time out of the octagon.
A super-mega fight with Floyd Mayweather has been suggested for months now, and the Irishman has recently received a boxing license, but that rumour still remains in the shadows.
Perhaps the best move for him would be to stick to Lightweight and own the division. There are some fighters in this division that would love to fight the Notorious- and who wouldn’t- seeing as he is the poster-boy of the UFC.
A maker of his own legacy, and notorious inside and out of the Octagon, this man has helped the brand become more popular in the UK and other countries.
Usain Bolt will probably win the overseas Sports Personality of the Year award, but if someone was to challenge him all the way, it would have been Conor McGregor.