When Nate Diaz submitted McGregor last March, the bout served as evidence to many that the latter’s game still has some holes. But, McGregor went on to avenge that defeat by outscoring Diaz in August, in a bout that also took place at 170. Then in November, Eddie Alvarez’s takedowns never came into play, as McGregor battered the lightweight with lefts, and took him out in round two.
Now, it looks as though McGregor will defend the lightweight title against either Tony Ferguson or Khabib Nurmagomedov, who are fighting for the interim belt on March 4th. Recently Chiesa spoke with ESPN, and the contender had this to say about the champ:
“I know he’s good. I’m not knocking him. We have to recognize the guy can f—ing fight. But you have to look at the guys coming up in the lightweight division. Tony Ferguson and Khabib, you have to fight the winner of that fight. I mean, dude, you’re good, but you’re going up against a guy who is 24-0, multiple sambo world champion, or a guy that would be on a 10-fight win streak.”
“Conor is good, but I really don’t think he’s a true lightweight,” Chiesa added. “That’s what I’m saying. With the landscape of this division, I don’t see Conor ending his year as champion. And you put me in there, I’m going to drag him to the ground and beat him too. I’m a huge lightweight. I’m as big as Nate or bigger, and we saw how many problems Nate gave him.”
Chiesa certainly isn’t the only person who believes McGregor hasn’t really been vetted yet, in terms of his abilities to be a long standing champ.
In terms of Chiesa’s career, he’s riding a three fight wining streak and is currently ranked #8. So, if he can put together a couple more wins, Chiesa could be knocking on the door for a title shot himself.