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UFC 246: Conor McGregor Says Welterweight “Opens so Many More Options”

Conor McGregor [1] has never stopped calling for a rematch with the UFC’s lightweight champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov. But, as the former champ gets set to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, January 18th, one of the main storylines is that McGregor is looking to make some waves in the welterweight division moving forward.

McGregor explains why welterweight is “exciting” for him

When it was announced that McGregor was going to fight Cerrone at 170, it turned some heads, since he had talked extensively about regaining the lightweight title. But, since the Cerrone bout was signed not long before UFC 246, it made considerable sense that the fighters had agreed not to cut to 155.

But, in recent weeks, McGregor has also talked about fighting for the BMF belt, which Jorge Masvidal currently holds. Then, in a recent interview with The MacLife, McGregor made news by relaying he wants to add the welterweight title to his resume as well. [2]

Well, more recently, McGregor spoke with ESPN’s [3] Ariel Helwani. In a preview the outlet has shared out of the interview, McGregor had this to say about his decision to ask for the Cerrone fight to go down at 170 (quotes via MMA Junkie [4]):

“I know, I could have (made his life more difficult),” McGregor admitted. “I just don’t think he looks well at 155. He’s a 170 fighter. I’d beat him at any weight. I’d beat him if I had the flu. I don’t need that. I just want to focus on my training and keep me sharp. I don’t want to cut and then build, and then cut. I’m happy where I’m at.”

“170 is an exciting one for me. I like 170. I like what’s going on in the 170 division at the minute. You’ve got Jorge with that (“BMF”) belt, you’ve got the other guys fighting for the belt. I like all of what’s going on at 170, and I feel good at 170. I feel energetic – it’s what I weigh and that’s it. It opens up so many more options, right?”

So, as noted above, it certainly looks like McGregor is hoping to make a run at welterweight too. After all, if he could win that division’s title, he would become the first fighter in UFC history to win titles in three different divisions (145, 155 and 170). That would an amazing, amazing feat, if  he could do it.

But what about 155?

Helwani proceeded to ask if McGregor is done then fighting at lightweight, and he said this:

“No, I’m not done at 155. No way. I could make 155 for this fight, no problem. But I just want to go in fresh and ‘as it is’. Let the fight play as it is, and then open up all of my options.”

Ya, considering all the things McGregor has said about Khabib Nurmagomedov and the lightweight crown, that response shouldn’t be a surprise.

But, first things first, and that’s getting past Cerrone next Saturday night.