Conor McGregor finds himself absent from the UFC rankings for the first time in more than eight years - and there is still no clear indication that he will return to the ring anytime soon. 

After beating Marcus Brimage and Max Holloway at the start of his career in the Octagon, the-then featherweight entered the standings at No 12 and proceeded to stop Diego Brandao inside the first round, before further emphatic finishes disposed of Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver, setting up an interim championship bout with Chad Mendes, from which McGregor again emerged victorious. 

What followed was sensational as McGregor produced the quickest knockout for a title fight in history - just 13 seconds - to take Jose Aldo's belt.


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Then came as the unfamiliar taste of defeat as the Dublin-born fighter stepped up to welterweight to throw down with Nate Diaz in March 2016, submitting to a rear-naked choke late in the second round.

McGregor was to get his revenge against Diaz later that year by majority decision, backing up that triumph with a third-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez to take the lightweight title. 

However, he was soon stripped of his featherweight belt due to inactivity and the same thing happened at lightweight. 

Almost two years passed following the Alvarez bout before McGregor returned to competition, and it was a reality check as he came out on the wrong end of a neck-crank submission from Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

A further 15 months out of action followed to process that defeat and go again, this time at welterweight once more as McGregor seemed to have got back on track with an electric TKO within 40 seconds of touching gloves with Donald Cerrone. 

McGregor was last seen in action in 2021 as he suffered two demoralising losses to Poirier, with the crushing nature of the second defeat perhaps signalling that the former double champion's days at the top were numbered. 

Now, McGregor is out of the top 15 in any division for the first time since 2014 and since his trilogy fight against Poirier has taken the mic at last year's MTV Video Music Awards, thrown the first pitch at the Minnesota Twins vs Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball game and walked the red carpet at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. 

His intentions for his MMA career appear unclear, although a meeting with Michael Chandler is mooted for the middle of next year. Keep your eyes peeled. 

Watch UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland from 10pm on Saturday 17 December, exclusively live on BT Sport 1.