With former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Jon “Bones” Jones currently serving a year-long suspension, MMA’s pound-for-pound debate has typically come down to one man: Flyweight champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. When Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight title in November, however, he made a strong case for a spot atop the pound-for-pound list, as he was already the champion at featherweight, and he had recently won a fight at welterweight against Nate Diaz.
In the opinion of UFC President Dana White, McGregor’s recent multi-weight accomplishments make it impossible to deny his status as MMA’s pound-for-pound king. White explained this feeling in an interview on The Michael Kay Show (via MMAFighting.com).
“When you talk about the pound-for-pound, they don’t have Conor McGregor as the pound-for-pound – the media does the ratings – when you talk about what pound-for-pound really means, how is it not Conor McGregor? The guy was the  pound champion,  pound champion, and beat a guy at 170 [pounds]. That’s what pound-for-pound really means.”
White also commented on the oft-rumored strains on his relationship with McGregor, assuring that he and the Irish star are on good terms. He also addressed McGregor’s inevitable retirement, and how the UFC will cope with the loss of its biggest star.
“Conor and I are very cool,” he said. “Do I put up with a lot of different stuff with this guy? Yeah, I do because he’s worth it and he’s different. But I’ll tell you this, people always ask, ‘What are you gonna do when Chuck Liddell retires? What are you gonna do when Anderson Silva’s gone? What are you gonna do when GSP’s gone? What are you gonna do when this guy’s gone?’ The list goes on and on…16 years later, it’s no different. Everybody was saying, ‘What’s gonna happen to the NBA when Michael Jordan retires?’..If you’re a fight fan, we bring you great fights.”
Do you consider Conor McGregor to be MMA’s pound-for-pound king? Or does that honor still belong to Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Sound off, PENN Nation!
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