Conor McGregor (pictured) has said it a million times – he’s not here to take part, he’s here to take over. After taking over the UFC featherweight division by knocking out Jose Aldo in merely 13 seconds Saturday at UFC 194, it appears McGregor might relinquish the unified belt and go right after the lightweight title.
“I didn’t say it was going to be my last one [at featherweight], but I would like to go up and fight for that 155-pound belt and replicate what I’d done in the previous promotion and get that lightweight belt,” McGregor said on the Fox Sports 1 post-fight show.”
UFC president Dana White joined the show after McGregor left and said John Kavanagh, McGregor’s longtime coach, told him seconds after McGregor’s record-setting victory that they don’t plan defending the featherweight title.
“The funny thing is, Kavanagh said in the octagon, ‘He’ll never make 145 [pounds] again.’ He said, ‘I don’t want him making that weight again. It’s not good for him.’ So they’ve been talking about going to 155 [pounds], but you never know with Conor. Maybe Conor decided Frankie [Edgar] did look good and would like to fight him.”
If McGregor decides to jump to lightweight, he won’t have to wait very long to get a crack at that crown.
“I’d bring him straight in for a title shot,” White stated. “So next Saturday will be the fight between [Donald] ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and [lightweight champ] Rafael dos Anjos. And the winner of that, if Conor McGregor is moving to 155, would face Conor McGregor.”
So there it is, McGregor has the luxury of deciding to either defend his freshly-minted unified featherweight belt against Frankie Edgar, or abandon the buckle and immediately challenge for the lightweight title.
When discussing the potential move, McGregor didn’t seem as definitive as his coach and was open to granting Edgar a shot at his hardware after what Edgar did to Chad Mendes on Friday night.
“I would like to go up and fight for that 155-pound strap. I also respect that Frankie got that nice win last night,” McGregor said. “I like Frankie, I always did. Fights with his heart, had a good run in the lightweight division. Again, it wouldn’t take much. It wouldn’t be a good night for him. But I do respect him and I respect that win.”
Despite solidifying his spot atop the featherweight mountain just hours ago, it is in McGregor’s best interest to try and conquer another mountain. Lightweight is arguably the UFC’s deepest division and will offer bigger fights. Bigger fights equates to bigger money, and we all know full well how much McGregor loves money.