THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/21: Conor wants to get pictures taken with two UFC belts before one is taken (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Conor McGregor on ESPN Magazine cover
MCGREGOR SAYS HE’D RELINQUISH A TITLE AFTER ALL

It may not take as much manpower as originally thought to get Conor McGregor to give up one of his two UFC championships should he leave UFC 205 reigning over the Featherweight and LIghtweight divisions.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated’s Mike Dyce, McGregor suggested he would be willing to relinquish one of his titles, but he’d like to have the opportunity to enjoy his achievement first.

“Let me see the pictures on publications with a belt on each shoulder first,” he said. “Let me go onto the side of that Octagon and raise two world titles, what’s never been done before, before talking about stripping me.”

McGregor continued to focus on the visual aspect of what would be a UFC first, telling Dyce: “Let me look at the historic images we’re going to get on this night, me with these two belts. That’s what everyone should be excited about. This is history.”

He isn’t asking for much time with the belts either. “Let me go back and look at some pictures of me with two belts and let me embrace it for half-a-day,” he said.

It would most certainly be history if McGregor can hold two championships simultaneously in UFC. It’s an achievement that would be as much of a testament to his drawing ability as his athletic ability, as lesser drawing champions such as Demetrious Johnson, who has discussed the possibility of moving up to challenge for a second title, have never been afforded the opportunity.

McGregor’s chance at history goes down in a few weeks at UFC 205 where he will take on Eddie Alvarez for his lightweight championship.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Let’s hope McGregor isn’t sleeping on Eddie Alvarez, as he’s not going to go down quietly on Nov. 12. It’s interesting that McGregor speaks about the achievement in terms of images and how he will look as a two division champion, as opposed to how that will make him feel or what it means in the bigger picture of the history of the sport. But that consciousness of his image is part of what makes him such a big star and has helped him get this opportunity to begin with. I think it’s fair to say that McGregor will drop the 145 lb. title should he win at UFC 205, but it may be best for him to remain champion in an official capacity until the impasse with Jose Aldo is sorted out one way or another.

THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…

-Georges St-Pierre was spotted in Las VegasWednesday night. When asked why he was in town, he said he’s “just hanging out.”

-Jon Jones tweeted last night “Can’t wait to get back and slap one of these Light Heavyweights, even on the sidelines I’m more relevant than anyone in that division,” followed by “You boys know when we all retire you will just be known as one of my contenders, easy for y’all to talk that sh– when daddy ain’t home.” Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson have been doing a lot of media in Toronto to promote UFC 206 and Jones’ name inevitably has come up.

-UFC 206 tickets went on sale to the public today. A check at Ticketmaster this afternoon showed pairs of tickets still available at $375 and $200 price points. The cheapest $40 tickets were sold out but tickets were still available at $60.

-Bellator 162 is live tomorrow at 9 Eastern on Spike TV. The main event features Alexander Shlemenko vs. Kendall Grove, with Bobby Lashley vs. Josh Appelt in the number two slot. Kimbo Slice’s son, Kevin Ferguson Jr. was slated to fight on the prelims, but his opponent Rick Bing was pulled from the show due to issues with his weight cut.

-Jeremy Botter at FloCombat tweeted that WME-IMG is considering ending The Ultimate Fighter franchise.

-Alexander Gustafsson’s manager revealed to ESPN that Gustafsson is sidelined due to a recurring back injury that he’s been suffering from for “three to four years.”

-Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt is being targeted for UFC 207 but is not yet official according to Ariel Helwani.

-Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez is official for UFC 207 in Las Vegas on Dec. 30 according to Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports.

THROWBACK THURSDAY

Check out Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brennan Ward ahead of tomorrow’s Bellator show.

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