Dana White’s made it clear he doesn’t want Georges St-Pierre fighting for the lightweight title next, since he believes the legend would just vacate another title. But, will Conor McGregor also hold up the 155 title picture? If he wins the belt at UFC 229?
For sometime now, there’s been buzz about McGregor moving down to lightweight, and in particular, fighting McGregor. After all, GSP has talked about the possibility of make the cut to 155 in the past, and more recently, he said he was interested in facing the winner of the October 6th, Khabib Nurmagomedov – McGregor fight.
“I’m not interested in that fight. He knows that and I’ve told him many times,” White said. “He was the 170-pound champion, he moved up to 185 pounds to take on Michael Bisping and put in his agreement that he would absolutely defend the title at 185 and then just dumped the title. I’m not interested.”
“Georges St-Pierre is looking for one off fights where he can make a lot of money, which it’s smart, that’s what he should do but we’re not interested in that.”
Now, a lot of people, including this writer, have argued that the UFC might tap GSP for that bout, regardless of White’s comments to date. The key reason being that St-Pierre fighting for the lightweight title would be massive, particularly if McGregor was holding the belt. Would the UFC really pass on an opportunity like that?
But, all that aside, could you argue that some of White’s concerns here can be applied to McGregor? If he does hand Nurmagomedov his first loss on October 6th? In other words, are there any guarantees that McGregor is going to be on board with defending the lightweight title if he reclaims it? Not really, no.
After McGregor ended the historic reign of Jose Aldo back in 2015, he proceeded to ask for a shot at the lightweight title. As you know, the Irish star never ended up defending the 145 belt he took from Aldo. Then, after McGregor won the lightweight championship in 2016, by taking out Eddie Alvarez, he never defended that belt either. This past April, the UFC stripped McGregor of the belt, because he hasn’t competed in the Octagon since the Alvarez fight.
Now yes, there’s been unique circumstances, as McGregor decided to box Floyd Mayweather in what was one of the biggest fights in history, and then McGregor had a son.
But, might McGregor decide he wants to challenge for the 170 title next? Rather than defending the 155 belt against say Tony Ferguson? Yup. McGregor’s talked about it in the past, and doing so, would be bigger than defending the lightweight title against Ferguson. Would the UFC sign on to that? Most likely.
Or, is there a chance that McGregor decides he wants to box his rival Paulie Malignaggi? And therefore, not defend the lightweight title for months? Yes, and White would likely be on board with that too, since Zuffa Boxing would almost certainly be involved.
Of course, first things first; McGregor has to defeat Nurmagomedov, and that’s very likely not going to be easy. But, if the superstar does win back the lightweight crown, don’t be surprised if the division’s championship picture gets cloudy, very quickly.