The Irish superstar revealed intentions to fight for the UFC welterweight title in an episode of Pub Talk with The Mac Life.
Conor McGregor recently sat down for Pub Talk with The Mac Life (video at the end of article) for a candid exclusive interview that lasted more than 30 minutes. The Notorious touched on many subjects, including his business endeavors with The Black Forge Inn, his new stout, and his role in exporting Irish culture around the globe.
However, there was one particular moment during the interview that sent the MMA world abuzz. McGregor hasn’t hidden his intentions to fight for UFC gold upon his return, despite losing to Dustin Poirier twice and being 1-3 in his last 4 MMA competitions. Before the interview, he had insinuated that lightweight champion Charles Oliveira should wait until June or July so that he could defend his title against the Irishman.
It would have likely been the least deserved title shot in UFC history, considering Oliveira just beat the man who beat McGregor back-to-back. Conor’s focus seems to have shifted, however, towards even loftier goals. Mystic Mac wants to bring glory back to the Emerald Isle by becoming the first UFC triple champion, moving up in weight and winning by knockout twice.
“I believe versus Usman for the 170-pound title for my comeback is the one I'm eyeballing at the minute…I feel confident against Usman. A jab happy, sloppy, orthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever. What's he gonna do? Where's the danger here? I don't see a danger with him."
It’s a tall order for the original champ-champ, coming off a brutal leg break in his last bout. Fans were quick to criticize the idea of McGregor coming back to fight for the lightweight title, given the circumstances. The Notorious is only 1-3 in UFC lightweight bouts. However, he’s looked good at 170, with wins over Nate Diaz and Cowboy Cerrone. The Irish superstar eluded to the fact that he wasn’t interested in cutting to 155 again, stating that he believes the best version of himself would be one that isn’t depleted.
Of course, wins over Nate Diaz and Cowboy Cerrone don’t exactly warrant a title shot in and of itself, but McGregor is the one fighter who can write his own rules. Dana White seemed open to the idea, stating in an interview with The Mac Life that "Yeah, it's interesting, I hadn't heard that. He's coming into Vegas, we're getting together and we're gonna talk. We'll see what's next... Any Conor fight is good money-wise."
Kamaru Usman was keen on making the fight happen, as any business savvy fighter would. The current UFC welterweight champion has stated in his last couple fights that he doesn’t want to stick around the fight game too much longer, and a matchup with McGregor would provide the biggest payday of his career to date by a long shot. There’s also the fact that Usman is considerably bigger and the best wrestler in the division. With McGregor’s history of struggles against grapplers, the odds would be heavy in Usman’s favor.
It’s not out of the norm for Conor McGregor to take the biggest risk possible. Even if it’s a terrible matchup on paper, he’s still got a puncher’s chance. The fact of the matter is, the UFC is not above making this fight happen. And if McGregor pulled off the upset, it would set the MMA world on fire. After all, if Colby Covington can sting Usman with straight shots, so could Conor McGregor.
Kamaru Usman is currently set to defend his belt against Leon Edwards, currently being targeted for the July PPV event. July is the timeframe that Conor McGregor has given for his MMA return, so we’ll see if anything happens. Dana White and the UFC were hesitant to give Edwards his title shot in a rematch against Usman. There’s no denying that the numbers a McGregor vs. Usman main event could pull would dwarf one between Usman and Edwards.