Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor is expected to return to action sometime this year, and “The Notorious” wants to return to a title fight. He’s also said that his first fight back after suffering a broken leg in his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021 will likely be in the welterweight division.
He recently released a video stating his desire to face Usman and have a chance to become the first fighter in the promotion’s history to win titles in three different weight classes.
“Myself versus Usman for the 170-pound title in my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute,” said McGregor, in an interview released on his YouTube channel in March. “Why cut the weight? I’ve already won the 155-pound title. I got myself to a lightweight frame, but you know, I’m big now. I feel big. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I’ve got good energy. I’m coming back from a gruesome injury. I don’t want to be depleting myself. There should be no need to deplete myself.
“And I feel confident against Usman — a jab-happy, sloppy, orthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever. What’s he going to do? Where’s the danger here? I don’t see danger. … No one has ever obtained three titles in three divisions like I will do if we make this fight.”
Usman responded to McGregor wanting to fight for the 170-pound title while speaking to TMZ Sports this week.
“This guy is not relevant. He hasn’t done anything in the sport as of late. So in order for him to be relevant he has to try to attach his name to someone who is relevant,” Usman said.
Usman’s next title defense is expected to be a rematch against No. 2 ranked Leon Edwards. Usman defeated Edwards by unanimous decision in December 2015.
Usman’s next opponent isn’t set in stone. There are several compelling match-ups for ‘The Nigerian Nightmare.’
“I’m just focused on the next one. If it’s Edwards, so be it. I’ll be prepared. I’ll be ready to go in there and do what I do best. If it’s [Khamzat] Chimaev, I’ll be ready to go in there and do what I do best. It doesn’t matter,” Usman said. “If it’s the little Irish guy, I’m ready to do that I do.”