Conor McGregor (José Youngs/The MMA Corner)The Stolen Soul of Conor McGregor Nedu Obi April 1, 2016 Events, News, Photos, Recaps, Spotlight, UFC One night in the far reaches of the City of Sin, the soul of one Conor McGregor was stolen. It was the MMA gods that dunnit; they from up above elected to wreak havoc on his surging train; veni vidi vici — derailing it systematically and emphatically. Back story: Prior to the aforementioned, he had been tapped to face off against lightweight titlist Rafael dos Anjos in a champion versus champion superfight. As we now know, that fight never came to fruition, as the latter pulled out due to an injury sustained whilst training. With the card set to implode, the “Notorious” one stepped up to the plate (encomium aplenty); stepped up two weight classes, all the way to welterweight — big mistake; huge. As fate would have it, the one the gods had chosen for that epic UFC 196 task was the F-bomb brawler from Stockton; Nate Diaz. He didn’t disappoint though; weathering McGregor’s early onslaught before dispatching the Irish gascon by second-round rear-naked choke, thusly rendering “Mystic Mac'” pre-fight prediction of an opening stanza knockout null and void. Nonetheless, not content with handing McGregor his first UFC loss, the Calif., native, like a thief in the night, purloined his soul as well. The vanquished soul of the 27-year-old McGregor was never more evident than during the post-fight presser; visibly shaken to the roots of his Irish foundations. Caveat! Lost souls, more times than not, are never found, never more so than in the stratosphere of the mucho macho fight game. And even if there is some semblance of recovery, combatants are never really the same; lingering self-doubts encompass their inner psyches and fester long after. Tokyo, Japan, 1990, Buster Douglas lit Mike Tyson up like a Christmas tree, forever shattering the myth of the once thought of invincible “Baddest Man on the Planet.” Following that trouncing, the former undisputed heavyweight boxing champ was a shadow of his former self; soul plundered. Fast forward a quarter-century, and Ronda Rousey, the most dominant female mixed martial artist of her era met her Waterloo via head kick, courtesy of “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm. Like “Iron” Mike, “Rowdy’s” soul was stolen that night Down Under; and down under it shall remain. McGregor’s soul now wanders among the MMA’s underworld of pillaged souls; souls bereft of redemption, souls once brilliant now faded into the obscuring distance; akin to a shooting star. Souls relegated to nothingness. Now if he cocks his ear to the ground, the sniggering whispers abound. Mark my words; Conor Anthony McGregor (19-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) will never scale the lofty heights of the Ultimate Fighting Championship summit again. Furthermore, his cross-divisional championship aspirations will be eviscerated for good. The projected rematch between McGregor and Diaz at UFC 200 (to be contested at 170 pounds again; the Hibernian never learns) wasn’t mere clishmaclaver; it’s official, it’s going down, and when it does, the “Skrap Pack” affiliate will put the final nail in the Irishman’s coffin by any means he chooses; it’s a wrap. What next for the SBG Ireland product? Well, if he decides he wants to test the shark infested waters of the 155ers, so be it. That bunch of killers housed in “The Green Mile” will welcome him with open arms, and with a promise of a surefire murderers’ row ass whupping; though, dos Santos gets dibs on that. However, that seems unlikely, as the dead eyes of the lightweight division will be the deciding factor; he’ll stay well away. His only other option is to descend back down to his original weight class of 145 lbs. and defend his coveted strap. The two guys in waiting; Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will vie for the interim belt on the same night he dukes it out with Diaz. The victor in that rematch gets featherweight gold first refusal. On the one hand is “Scarface,” the man he wrested the title from, the same man, who now voraciously chomps at the bit for violent retribution. Conversely, Edgar is on a search and destroy mission, and believes he has “The Answer” to all of McGregor’s attributes and flaws. Needless to say, whoever of the two “Notorious” locks horns with, it doesn’t matter, the ending he will not like; vae victis. For McGregor, and those before him, there’s no respite for the stolen souls of MMA.