Former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon in the headliner of next weekend’s UFC 246 event for a welterweight bout with Donald Cerrone.
It will mark the first time that the Irish star has competed inside of the cage since October of 2018, when he suffered a fourth round submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 229.
Next Saturday’s UFC 246 headliner will also mark the first time that McGregor has competed at welterweight in nearly 3.5 years.
‘Mystic Mac’ has only competed twice at 170lbs during his mixed martial arts career. Both of those bouts occurred in 2016 and came against Nate Diaz.
Conor McGregor would go 1-1 in his two bouts with the ‘Stockton Slugger’, scoring a majority decision victory in their rematch, this after falling victim to submission in their first encounter.
While most fans and analysts believe that McGregor is best suited for lightweight, as was the case with Diaz, Conor will be fighting another opponent who has made most of is living at lightweight in ‘Cowboy’ next weekend.
Despite his lack of size when compared to some of the elite athletes in the welterweight division, Conor McGregor recently suggested that he could have more fights at 170lbs following his bout with Cerrone at UFC 246.
“I’m not going to 170 just for Jorge,” McGregor explained. “I liked the look of that welterweight bout, the welterweight title fight,” McGregor continued. “I like the look Kamaru Usman, the look of Colby. I’m open to it all at 170.”
Whether or not McGregor follows up on those potential welterweight contests remains to be seen.
Being that Conor has competed in three divisions during his infamous UFC career, including winning titles at featherweight and lightweight, we highlighted the three versions of McGregor below.
Featherweight Conor McGregor (7-0 UFC)
McGregor made his UFC debut as a featherweight in April of 2013 scoring a first round TKO victory over Marcus Brimage. The Irishman would follow that up with victories over Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver, which ultimately earned him an interim featherweight title fight with Chad Mendes. McGregor would go on to defeat Mendes by way of second round TKO at UFC 189, setting up a title unification bout with Jose Aldo. ‘Mystic Mac’ would need only 13-seconds to put an end to Aldo’s longtime reign as featherweight champion at UFC 194, scoring a historic first round knockout over the Brazilian legend. McGregor would later vacate the featherweight title due to inactivity.
Lightweight Conor McGregor (1-1 UFC)
McGregor made his UFC lightweight debut in November of 2016 when he challenged Eddie Alvarez for the promotions 155-pound strap at UFC 205. The Irish star would go on to make quick work of Alvarez, defeating the Philadelphia native by way of second round TKO. With the victory, Conor became the first ever ‘champ champ’ in promotional history. After a two-fight stint at welterweight with Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor would return to the lightweight division in October of 2018. There, the Irishman took on bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, who had captured the promotions vacant lightweight title shortly after McGregor was forced to release the belt. Conor was ultimately submitted by Khabib in the fourth round of their fight at UFC 229. ‘Notorious’ has been hounding for a rematch with ‘The Eagle’ ever since the loss.
Welterweight Conor McGregor (1-1 UFC)
As mentioned above, McGregor’s lone two welterweight bouts have come against Nate Diaz. In their first fight at UFC 196 in March of 2016, it was the Stockton native who emerged victorious by way of second round submission. In their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 202 in August of that same year, McGregor would rebound to take home a majority decision victory over Diaz.
Which weight class do you feel best suits UFC star Conor McGregor? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com January 4, 2020