Mike Tyson Thinks Conor McGregor Should Build His Confidence Back For UFC Return But Against Whom?

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 25: Conor McGregor is seen during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at on May 25, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/GC Images)

Boxing legend “Iron” Mike Tyson always has some game for other combat sports athletes, and his attention recently turned to Conor McGregor. The heavyweight suggested that McGregor (22-6) should get at least three wins under his belt before facing any top-level UFC competition.

“After a defeat, you should do a couple of fights to get your feet wet,” Tyson told former UFC champ-champ Henry Cejudo on “The Fight Card” podcast.

“Conor McGregor, I think you should build your confidence up and go do what you do: win excitingly. No big-time guy, let him get three fights and build his confidence back up. Every fight the opponent goes to a higher level.”

Notorious Confidence

McGregor’s last time in the Octagon was against former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Porier where he was stopped in the first round at UFC 264 by a doctor stoppage. McGregor suffered a broken tibia, which many believed would end his MMA career.

However, “The Notorious” has expressed his desire to return to action at the highest level for a welterweight championship.

“Myself versus (Kamaru) Usman for the 170-pound title in my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute,” McGregor said in an interview on his MacLife YouTube channel. “Why cut the weight? I’ve already won the 155-pound title.

“I got myself to a lightweight frame, but you know, I’m big now. I feel big. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I’ve got good energy. I’m coming back from a gruesome injury. I don’t want to be depleting myself. There should be no need to deplete myself.”

Ready For Kamaru?

Kamaru Usman is the current UFC welterweight champion and No. 1 in the UFC’s current pound-for-pound rankings. He has defeated Colby Covington twice and knocked out Jorge Masvidal in highlight-reel fashion.

Usman has said on social media that he would fight McGregor, but it doesn’t seem logical as a return fight based on Usman’s current 19-fight win streak.

“I feel confident against Usman; a jab-happy, sloppy, orthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever,” McGregor continued. “What’s he going to do? Where’s the danger here? I don’t see danger. No one has ever obtained three titles in three divisions like I will do if we make this fight.”

The Veteran’s Opinion

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael “The Count” Bisping also disagreed with Tyson but did not say to go after Kamaru Usman.

“The circumstances with McGregor right now, it’s a risky one,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “Tyson said have two or three fights before you go into a big fight like that. There’s risk, and there is reward.”

“There’s no guarantees in the fight game, and if he loses to them [someone outside of the top five], then it’s even worse if he was to go in against the champ, Charles Oliveira,” Bisping continued. “[If] you go up against the champ Charles Oliveira [first], you get beat, oh well, so what? No big deal. Everybody’s losing to him right now. Charles Oliveira is the man.”

Different Conversations

“However, if [McGregor] loses to someone ranked down the pecking order, ranked six, seven, something like that, now it’s a very different conversation that’s taking place,” Bisping explained.

McGregor’s potential return is highly anticipated, but its reality is a challenge that has as many options as it does problems.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.