Former UFC double champ Conor McGregor is hellbent at receiving a title shot upon his return to the Octagon later this year and he’s now turning his attention to reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
McGregor, who suffered a brutal leg injury at the hands of Dustin Poirier during their trilogy bout back at UFC 264 in July 2021, has been lobbying for a title shot when he’s able to return to action. “Notorious” has mostly discussed a matchup with current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, but now the Irish superstar is opening up the possibility of a scrap with “Nigerian Nightmare.”
McGregor’s decision is certainly driven by making history, but the former UFC champion has bulked up quite a bit over the past six months and may have difficulty cutting back down to 155 pounds.
“It’s about finding out which weight now,” McGregor told The Mac Life. “I just don’t really see myself going back to 155 again.”
While McGregor and Usman have traded barbs in the past about a potential clash inside of the Octagon it’s not really something that has ever held any significant weight, especially when you consider the fact that McGregor has never defeated a legitimate contender at 170 pounds. Still, “Notorious” is eager to test his skills against Usman and prove the pound-for-pound king doesn’t offer as much danger as some may think.
“I believe myself vs. Usman for the 170-pound title for my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute,” McGregor said.
“I’ve gotten myself down to a lightweight frame, but I’m big now. I feel big, I feel strong, I feel healthy, I’ve got good energy. Coming back after a gruesome injury, I do not want to deplete myself. There’s no need to deplete myself. And 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 hard to envision a scenario in which McGregor returns to action and lands a welterweight title shot over the likes of Leon Edwards, Khamzat Chimaev, Gilbert Burns, and even Colby Covington. However, McGregor is still the biggest star in the sport of MMA and Usman is currently looking to score major paydays. Maybe it is something that could work itself out.
“The world will talk again (about) the triple crown,” McGregor said. “No one’s ever obtained three knockouts in three weight divisions moving up like I have already. But no one’s ever obtained three UFC world titles across three divisions like I will do also if we make this fight.”
“There’s history to be made,” he continued. “The game is to be shook up again. The triple crown has never been done. It’ll never be done in my lifetime. No one will do this in my lifetime. When I knock Kamaru Usman out at 170, that’ll be three UFC world titles won moving upward with three knockouts. I knocked out (Jose) Aldo, I knocked out Alvarez, and I’ll knock out Kamaru Usman. Three knockouts, three world titles, three weights going up.”
McGregor, who hasn’t fought for an official UFC title since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2018, believes that his only option moving forward is to fight for UFC gold. Despite what any of the doubters may say “Notorious” is aiming to prove just how good he is (again).
“Enough is enough with the disrespect that comes my way,” McGregor said. “People are gonna give me my respect for the many facets of my game, fighting style and everything else. I’m gonna waltz back into a title shot. Make no mistake about it. It’s that, or I won’t (fight). It has to be a title shot. What else can it f—king be?”
Usman, who would be a massive betting favorite in a potential meeting with McGregor, posted the following reactions to the Irishman’s callout on Friday:
“You guys want a murder scene in the octagon.”
“He said he’s gonna do what????”
What say you, Maniacs? Does a Usman vs. McGregor title fight make any sense? Would McGregor stand a puncher’s chance?