When lightweight champion Conor McGregor returns from his current hiatus from competition, it will likely be to a fight with the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson’s upcoming interim title fight. If the Irish champion passes this mammoth test, however, it’s difficult to say who will be next for him.
Michael Chiesa, who is one of the frontrunners in the lightweight division, could well find himself in the cage with McGregor in the near future. Were this to happen, The Ultimate Fighter winner is confident he’d win for one reason in particular. At 6’1, he’s just a much bigger fighter than McGregor.
He explained this feeling in a recent interview with ESPN. His words:
“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 samba 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. 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 (Diaz) or bigger, and we saw how many problems Nate gave him.”
When we last saw Michael Chiesa in action, he extended his win-streak to three with a submission of the dangerous Beneil Dariush. How do you think the rangy lightweight grappler would fare against Conor McGregor? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This story first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/17/2017.