<pre><pre>UFC 246: Conor McGregor's long, hard fall from the world's top

Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor will return to the octagon next Saturday against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at UFC 246 in Las Vegas (10:00 PM; ESPN + PPV).

It is his first promotion fight since his defeat against Khabib Nurmagomedov in a light title fight at UFC 229 in October 2018.

The popular McGregor dominated the featherweight UFC spots and eventually unified the title by getting Jose Aldo out of the way at UFC 194 in just 13 seconds in December 2015. He peaked in sport in November 2016 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to win the light belt and become the first fighter to hold two UFC titles at the same time.

However, the past few years have not been kind to his legacy.

McGregor decided to box and finally negotiated a big money fight with Floyd Mayweather, who was considered by some to be the greatest boxer ever.

Despite performing better than expected in this fight in August 2017, McGregor lost in the 10th round through TKO. Then it went downhill quickly.

In November 2017, McGregor pleaded guilty of driving more than 50 km / h over the Dublin speed limit. That same month, teammate Charlie Ward had to end a fight early after McGregor, who was not supposed to be in Ward's corner, slapped an MMA officer in the face.

In April 2018, Nurmagomedov confronted McGregor's friend Artem Lobov on media day for UFC 223 (a card McGregor didn't play on). McGregor responded by chasing Nurmagomedov on his bus in the guts of the Barclays Center, running next to it, and trying to smash the window with a metal cart.

The NYPD has issued an arrest warrant for McGregor. After initially escaping the scene, he later turned himself in and was charged with three attacks.

McGregor returned to the octagon in October 2018 to take on Nurmagomedov and was defeated by submission in the fourth round. After the fight, the two were in the middle of a wild hand-to-hand fight in which McGregor Khabib's cousin Abubakar fought. McGregor was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for six months.

McGregor was arrested in Miami in March 2019 after allegedly taking a fan's phone and beating him on the floor.

The same month, it was announced that he was under investigation in Ireland for sexual assault allegedly last December. He announced another UFC resignation almost immediately afterwards.

In August TMZ released a video in which McGregor hit an older man in a Dublin pub for refusing to take part in McGregor's whiskey brand. McGregor was charged with assault and fined.

In October, he was charged with sexual assault a second time. He rejected both allegations.

Now McGregor is returning as the main attraction for a major UFC event. His struggling future is questionable. Allegations of sexual assault continue. The story about McGregor has certainly changed since he was sitting on the octagon with two belts over his shoulders above the sports world.