McGregor is expected to make his return sometime in late 2023 or early 2024 against Michael Chandler. It’s a fight that’s been promised since the two spent an entire season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 jibing and shoving each other around. That hasn’t stopped “The Notorious” from calling out everyone else on a weekly basis, from Floyd Mayweather to Alexander Volkanovski to Justin Gaethje.
And now the Irish sports start is calling out new 185-pound champion, Sean Strickland.
Strickland just took the Middleweight title off Israel Adesanya in a shocker of a pay-per-view (PPV) main event at UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia. No one thought Strickland could defeat “The Last Stylebender.” Many still think Izzy beat himself that night. And everyone at 185 pounds is salivating at the possibility of catching the belt while it’s being held by Strickland.
Even McGregor — a former 145- and 155-pound champion — is suddenly considering a move up.
No mess, I’d fancy it. https://t.co/TYVkSSBzxu— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 10, 2023
“Conor move up to 185 this is ur chance,” one fan wrote McGregor on X (formerly Twitter).
“No mess, I’d fancy it,” McGregor replied.
He also showed off a picture looking extremely jacked before declaring his next fight would be at 185 pounds.
McGregor usually does what he wants, but there’s no way he’s going to get out of TUF 31’s coaches fight before moving on to other endeavors. There’s no way Dana White will put a season of his favorite pet show on ESPN just for the main attraction to fizzle out at the end.
Maybe in the past when McGregor was on top of the world, he could swing into whatever big fight he wanted. These days, it’s a real question as to whether UFC will even issue him a controversial United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) exemption to return to competition early.
Which is ... kind of too bad, really.
McGregor vs. Strickland for the Middleweight title would be kind of silly, but as UFC becomes more and more bland in the ESPN era, we kind of miss the “freak show” feeling a bout like this would bring.
For the latest TUF 31-related (and Conor McGregor) news and notes click here.