Conor McGregor: I am leaps and bounds ahead of the featherweight division

(Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Conor McGregor sounds pretty lukewarm about returning to the division where he currently holds UFC gold.

On Friday, UFC president Dana White told UFC.com that after UFC 202 McGregor would be returning to the featherweight division to rematch current interim champion Jose Aldo. But just hours later, during a private media day, McGregor said that those reports — even from White — were a bit premature.

“I read that, we’ll see,” McGregor said. “There’s a lot to still happen yet. I’m going to go in there, to face this man (Nate Diaz), do what I know I can do and put him away and then we’ll see.”

McGregor is slated to take on Diaz in exactly one week at UFC 202 in a fight contested at welterweight — one weight class above Diaz’s natural fighting weight and two classes above McGregor’s championship weight.

A loss at UFC 202 would almost guarantee a move back to 145 for McGregor. But a win opens up a few more doors for the Irishman. He’d be even 1-1 against Diaz, which would surely make for an interesting trilogy fight. McGregor could also beat Diaz and decide to challenge Eddie Alvarez for his lightweight belt, a title “Notorious” was set to face then-champion Rafael dos Anjos for back in March.

Either way, McGregor believes that Aldo and the rest of the featherweight division are hoping he stays on his superfight kick for as long as possible.

“They’re (the rest of the division) praying I don’t come back. Tell me one time I didn’t make weight. I made championship weight when I didn’t have to. I am the featherweight world champion. The guy I KO’d in seconds is the interim, I am leaps and bounds ahead of that division.”