Conor McGregor has flirted with the idea of going after UFC’s Welterweight belt in the past, but now he’s being offered a title shot on a silver platter. Unfortunately for him, that offer is coming not from UFC nor its matchmakers, but 170-pound champ Kamaru Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz.
Abdelaziz also manages Lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and to say his relationship with McGregor is troubled would be an understatement. During the lead-up to McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov, Conor regularly called Ali a “snitch terrorist rat” amongst a wide variety of other insults. Rumor has it half the insults fired McGregor’s way from Ali clients like Khabib and Justin Gaethje were typed and tweeted by Ali himself. It’s a big ugly feud, and we’re not surprised Abdelaziz continues to keep himself deep in the middle of the it.
His latest angle: offering to set up a fight between McGregor and Usman. With Jorge Masvidal suddenly sounding more interested in another win over Nate Diaz, Ali had this suggestion.
It looks like #1 contender wants to fight Nate Diaz now . Good for him @TheNotoriousMMA hey you want a title shot ? Come to daddy @USMAN84kg will give you one and he promise first 2 rounds without takedowns only slaps— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) May 24, 2020
Lest you think this is just more Twitter s**t talk, he underscored how serious he was by confirming with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
Per manager Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00), if Jorge Masvidal were to ask UFC for a Nate Diaz BMF rematch, over a Kamaru Usman title fight, they'd ask the UFC to offer the 170 pound title shot to Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA), for a chance to win his third title. https://t.co/CmCD6PlcKb— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 25, 2020
Of course, Ali doesn’t have the ability to set anything up, and UFC isn’t exactly known for its flexibility in letting fighters matchmake their own biz. Any fight that endangers the possibility of McGregor and Khabib fighting sometime early 2021 isn’t going to garner much enthusiasm from the execs. But, Conor McGregor is one of the few people capable of making demands, and a third belt may be just the kind of cheese to lure McGregor into their trap.
The trap being a massive Usman, whose wrestling is so good he rag-dolled Tyron Woodley for five rounds to win the Welterweight belt. While I’ve certainly learned to stop doubting McGregor when it comes to his competitive spirit, a former Featherweight attempting to dethrone a legit Welterweight is up there with challenging Mayweather in your first boxing bout. It’s not going to result in victory, although I’m sure the lead up and fight would be worth watching anyway.