CONOR MCGREGOR can bounce back from his recent setbacks to Dustin Poirier – but only if he's 'hungry to prove a point'.
The Notorious, 33, has suffered back-to-back defeats to his old featherweight rival this year, with the most recent loss taking place last weekend at UFC 264.
McGregor's status as an elite fighter has been questioned by many following the fight, despite it ending via a horrific leg break.
But former UFC middleweight Mark Weir believes it's too early to completely write off the Irishman.
He told Sky Sports: "If McGregor's hungry enough to prove a point – and I really do believe he could do it.
"But the motivation is hard because he's getting how many millions a year. It's whether he wants to set a standard. He's going to have to climb the ladder again.
"He's gone down a step or two. So he's going to have to have a couple of warm-ups. He's not starting from scratch, he's starting from mediocre.
"He's about halfway down the ladder. If he's hungry enough to get back up, great.
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"But this about how his wife talks to him, the people around him, the coaches because that plays a very important part, if they say 'just leave it alone mate.'"
Weir reckons McGregor should snub an immediate fourth bout with Poirier and take a high-level warm-up fight.
He added: "I do believe Conor McGregor has ability and the ability to knock anyone out. And I don't think he's going to lose that yet at that age.
"A lot of people hit their prime in their early 30s anyway.
"But with the layoff, he didn't really have a warm-up fight.
"People reckon the Donald Cerrone fight was a warm-up fight, but that wasn't a good warm-up fight.
"He needs someone of a high level, to push him.
"If he comes back, I think he needs a couple of warm-up fights, start getting that form back – if he's really hungry to prove a point – and then come back for that rematch."
McGregor underwent surgery on his shattered leg last Sunday and will be on crutches for the next six weeks before beginning rehab.
In a video on Twitter, he said: "I want to thank all the fans around the world for your messages of support. I hope you all enjoyed the show.
"I want to thank all the fans in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena. 21,800 in attendance. The place was absolutely electric.
"It was a hell of a first round, it would've been nice to get into that second round to see what's what.
"But it is what it is. That's the nature of the business, a clean break on the tibia and it wasn't not to be.
"Dustin, you can celebrate that illegitimate win all you want, but you've done nothing in there.
"That second round would've shown all. Onwards and upwards we go, team
"We dust ourselves off, we build ourselves back, and we come back better than ever."
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