Conor McGregor On Unifying Featherweight Titles & Moving To Lightweight
Conor McGregor is already planning to jump a weight class if he beats champ Jose Aldo at UFC 194.
The UFC interim featherweight champ said today that a win over Aldo will accomplish his goal at 145 pounds and put him on track to vie for the lightweight title.
“I feel I want Jose to show up, I’m going to retire Jose and end his career, and then I’m done what I’ve said I would do,” McGregor said at a media luncheon in Los Angeles. “I said I would kill the featherweight division – there’s nobody left.”
McGregor (18-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who with Aldo (25-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) headlines UFC 194 on Dec. 12 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, didn’t shy away from one additional fight if successful against the undisputed champ. A meeting with ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, who respectfully challenged him after his interim win over Chad Mendes, is possible under certain conditions.
Edgar (19-4-1 MMA, 13-4-1 UFC) next meets Mendes (19-4-1 MMA, 13-4-1 UFC) on Dec. 22 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, and McGregor said his performance there could convince him to stick around a little longer at featherweight.
“If Frankie was to put on a phenomenal performance and stop Chad, then I could probably say alright, let’s answer the Frankie question, let’s shut him down real quick,” McGregor said. “But in my mind, I’m thinking unify and destroy.”
Of the other question, this one posed by Mendes, who attributed his second-round TKO loss to a lack of preparation time as a short notice replacement for an injured Aldo, McGregor isn’t particularly keen to answer.
McGregor also banked $500,000 for his win, but that doesn’t count undisclosed bonuses and incentives that likely upped his payday into the millions. There was also his claim that a $3 million dollar bet with UFC executives for an earlyround stoppage of Mendes paid off as well.
For the popular Irish fighter, the goal now is not only to become rich, but wealthy, he told reporters.
“I’m going to unify the belts and destroy the division and then I’m going to go up and take the lightweight division, as well,” he said. “So that’s where I’m headed right now.”
So far, only B.J. Penn and Randy Couture have been successful at winning titles in multiple divisions. Historically, the idea of putting on a superfight is a lot more attractive than the reality of actually booking it.
The UFC also isn’t typically responsive to champions moving weight classes to win other belts. But McGregor has thus far proven to be exceptional at breaking with convention. And with his status as one of the promotion’s biggest stars, he may get the leeway he desires.