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Conor McGregor

State of the Featherweight Division

Vinny Craig

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Champion

Conor McGregor

If you didn’t watch UFC 194 or haven’t heard, what are you doing? 13 seconds into the headlining Featherweight title fight, Conor McGregor was upright and Jose Aldo was on the ground unconscious. To the contrary of what the UFC says, McGregor would like to hold the Featherweight and Lightweight belt simultaneously. The victory for him sets up some really exciting matchups for the duration of McGregor being in the division.

Next In Line

Frankie Edgar

It was expected that after this weekend, the Featherweight division would be in clear scope for everyone to see. Frankie Edgar made it easy with his first round KO of fellow top contender Chad Mendes on Friday night. It was said that night that Frankie was up next for the belt, despite the outcome of Saturday night. We all know how the title shots come and go in the UFC, and only time and announcements will tell.

Jose Aldo

I may be going out on a whim here, but the UFC REALLY likes money. The expected biggest event in MMA history in the form of UFC 200 is right around the corner. You would expect the companies two biggest stars on top and what a card it would be with two title rematches that made the company millions. That is where Jose Aldo may get his title rematch right away after being the most dominant champion in Featherweight history. I will make a bold statement in saying that McGregor- Aldo rematch will be on UFC 200.

The Present

Chad Mendes

Despite losing this weekend and being on a losing streak for the first time in his career, Mendes is still a threat to the division on any given night. He has 8 high profile wins in the division and continues to only get bigger fights. Outside of the Aldo, McGregor, Edgar group, Mendes will beat anybody on any night and will always be competitive for everyone.

Max Holloway

While it took Conor McGregor five straight wins to get a title shot, Max Holloway is on eight and doesn’t look to be getting a shot any time soon. With the cluster at the top of the division, Holloway has been almost forgotten in the big picture. He has eight straight wins with only two decisions in that span. It’s unfortunate his last loss came to the current champ in 2013, but may also be a ‘blessing’ in disguise.

The Future

Hacran Dias

Currently ranked 12th in the division with just 5 UFC fights, the only way to go is up for Dias. A teammate of Aldo’s, Dias has a good camp behind him to get ready. Two or three big fights and Dias is right in the thick of things in the division, especially with his teammate not being the champ.

Ricardo Lamas

A former title challenger already, Lamas is still ranked inside the top 5. While he is 33, the time isn’t right now for another title run for him. He’ll need to rebuild a resume complete with a top 5 wins and most likely a title eliminator fight as well. It won’t be easy, but we could see Ricardo Lamas in another title fight in his career.

Charles Oliveira

It seems as though Charles Oliveira has been in the UFC and close to being top tier forever. The reality is he is still only 26 years old and is only getting better. It can be argued he is on a five fight win streak as a freak injury stopped his last fight against Max Holloway. The grappling wiz is a threat to anyone if he can get the fight to the ground and use his skills. Won’t take much for an exciting fighter like Oliveira to be pushed to the next level for big fights in big spots.

Long Shot

Cub Swanson

It wasn’t long ago we were talking about Cub Swanson in a title fight after six straight wins. Then he ran into guys like Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway where he was dominated for 8 straight rounds between the two while getting finished in both fights. He has recently made comments about maybe not wanting to fight again to our very own Jim Edwards. Have we seen the last of Cub Swanson?

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Conor McGregor

Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture

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When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.

Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”

White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”

Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.

The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.

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Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219

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On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.

“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter.  “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox.  My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.

Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia. 

 

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Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’

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Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.

Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.

Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.

McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”

This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”

White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”

White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.

The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.

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