Conor McGregor says that getting a title fight is the only real option for his return bout, and he wants the championship matchup to be against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
McGregor is eight months removed from suffering a fractured fibula during a July technical knockout loss to Dustin Poirier. The defeat was a second straight, and the third in his last four bouts inside the Octagon.
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion isn’t a logical option to be competing in a title fight any time soon, but when you are by far the biggest box office draw in the sport, logic isn’t a prerequisite in matchmaking.
Conor McGregor wants title fight or nothing in next UFC bout
In a new interview with MMA outlet The Mac Life, “Notorious” continued the campaign he started following his recent defeat, and that is to land a title opportunity upon his return to the Octagon. Because in his mind there is no other option.
“I’m gonna waltz back into a title shot,” McGregor said. “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*cking be?”
For the last few months, the assumption was if McGregor got his championship bout wish, it would be against reigning lightweight king Charles Oliveira. And he has called for a fight with the Brazilian on several occasions. However, it seems McGregor has shifted gears and does not see a return to 155-pounds in his future.
- Conor McGregor record: 22-6 (19 knockouts, 1 submission)
McGregor wants to attempt UFC history against Kamaru Usman in Octagon return
Instead, the bulkier version of the Irishman that fans have recently seen on social media has his eyes set on a jump to welterweight and a title fight with 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman, and a chance at more history.
“I believe that’s the fight to make. I believe myself versus Usman for the 170-pound title for my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute. Now I haven’t really said that to no one, to be honest. I’ve only been thinking about it the last couple of days,” said McGregor. “… I’ve already won the 155-pound title. But I’m big now. I feel strong I feel healthy. I’ve got good energy. I’m coming back after a gruesome injury. I don’t want to deplete myself.
“And I feel confident against Usman. A jab-happy, sloppy, unorthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever. What’s he gonna do? Where’s the danger here? His ground and pound isn’t strong. Plus, he’s on the older side,” he added. “And the world would be talking again, the triple crown. Noone’s ever achieved three UFC world titles across three divisions.”
McGregor was the first fighter in UFC history to hold two division titles simultaneously when he won the lightweight belt in 2016.
- Conor McGregor height: 5’8″