UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor came into the league declaring he wasn’t here to take part, he was here to take over. Actually taking over would mean equity, and that is a discussion for another day. But in terms of publicity, he took over.
‘Notorious’ is looking for historical matchups, and since winning the featherweight title has aimed to become the first champion to hold belts in two divisions simultaneously. BJ Penn and Randy Couture are the only fighters to hold belts in two divisions but neither did so at the same time.
After beating Aldo at UFC 194 on December 12, 2015, McGregor’s next scheduled fight was with then champion Rafael dos Anjos. Unfortunately, RDA hurt his foot, Nate Diaz stepped in on short notice, and things headed in a different direction for a time. In the meantime, Jose Aldo earned the interim title beating Frankie Edgar.
The UFC and McGregor were reportedly stuck over the two-belt issue, with management arguing he had to give up the featherweight belt if he wanted to challenge at lightweight. Eventually, a compromise was reached where McGregor was given the opportunity to hold onto the 145 belt, challenge at 155, and if he won, decide which one belt wanted to give up.
However, at the UFC 205 press conference, McGregor vowed to try to keep both.
“They’re going to have to gather an army to try and take one of them off me, and that’s out straight,” said McGregor, as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “One’s going to be there, one’s going to be there, and I’m going to be picking and choosing who I want to destroy next. And that’s it.”
“I’m going to wrap one on one shoulder, and I’m going to wrap the other on the other shoulder, and they’re going to need a f***ing army to come take them belts off me.”
UFC president Dana White was non-confrontational.
“We’ll figure that out when it happens,” said the boss.
McGregor also said that lightweight appeared to be the best fit. Given how hard he struggled to make 145, and how much size he put on to fight Diaz, 155 does appear to be the right division.
“I’m very happy with the 155-pound weight limit,” said McGregor. “I feel of all the divisions I’ve ran around and ran through, 155, I feel, will be the one where I take over the most. So, I look forward to that.”
Conor McGregor fights Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 on November 12, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.