Conor McGregor is definitely interested in pursuing multiple titles in different weight classes and it looks like welterweight champion Robbie Lawler is his next target.
McGregor has teased over the last couple of months that a move to 170 pounds was possible, but after his lightweight title fight with Rafael dos Anjos got scrapped for this weekend’s UFC 196 card he ended up at welterweight anyway to face late-notice replacement Nate Diaz.
Now, McGregor says a welterweight title fight might be even more appealing after he dispatches Diaz in impressive fashion on Saturday night.
"That’s there. I mean why not? That’s probably the leading option," McGregor said about going after the welterweight title when speaking to FOX Sports on Wednesday in Las Vegas. "Dos Anjos is an absolute bum, I swear to God and he’s still complaining. How do you pull out of a fight with a bruised foot and still talking all this (expletive) and his team’s talking all this (expletive). Man up and fight. Come on. I don’t even know what to say to this guy."
I would beat Robbie. I’m too fast, the size difference is nothing. I’ve stood beside him. I’ve seen him.
— Conor McGregor
Unlike his ire towards dos Anjos for pulling out of their fight, McGregor says he actually has a ton of respect for Lawler, who is a veteran of the sport for more than a decade and now a two-time defending welterweight champion.
McGregor might have negative comments about a lot of fighters on the UFC roster, but Lawler isn’t one of them.
Of course, that doesn’t mean McGregor isn’t confident that he could roll through the welterweight champion just as easily as he did former featherweight king Jose Aldo this past December at UFC 194.
"I like Robbie. I won’t say a bad word about Robbie. He fights with his heart. He’s been around the game so, so long but if we fought, I would beat Robbie. I’m too fast, the size difference is nothing. I’ve stood beside him. I’ve seen him," McGregor said.
"I do like Robbie. I respect him as a champion, as a man that drifted off, came back, stayed on it and rose up as the welterweight champion. We’ll see how that goes. That is appealing to me. We’ll see."
McGregor’s willingness to up the ante doesn’t even stop at welterweight either.
When asked if that really was the limit for how far he’d push the envelope regarding his willingness to move up divisions, McGregor isn’t counting out a fight at 185 pounds down the road.
"As I keep growing and keep eating and keep training, my body could change as I get older. I could become that solid block at 170 and if I’m that block at 170, I’m happy to go to 185," McGregor said.
"It’d be like going 145 to 155. I have no problem doing that. I go in and whoop anybody, no problem."
Whether it’s featherweight, lightweight, welterweight or middleweight, McGregor knows fighters are all climbing over top of each other just to get a shot at him because he’s the biggest draw in the sport right now.
So given the kind of pull he has at the box office and on pay-per-view, McGregor might consider one more ‘weight class’ to add to his resume.
The money weight division.
"I’ll make my own belt and then I’ll decide what weight the fight is at. Why not? Who cares about the belts? It’s the money fight," McGregor shouted. "This is the money fight that everyone wants. They should be chasing it. Knocking everybody out of their way to get to it.
"Not crying and complaining saying ‘I’m going to wait until Uncle Dana (White) picks up the phone.’ Please and all that (expletive)."