Conor McGregor became the undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion on Saturday night at UFC 194, taking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds. With one belt in hand, there’s already been talk of a Champion vs. Champion fight against the winner of next week’s Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone bout for the Lightweight Title, and McGregor says it’s a definite option. However, he made clear that when he goes after that title, it won’t be at the expense of what’s already around his waist.
“I tell you one thing that won’t be happening, if I go up to that lightweight division, there is no way in hell that I’m vacating my belt,” McGregor said at the UFC 194 post-fight press conference. “That’s not happening. There’ll be a belt on one shoulder, and a belt on the other shoulder.
“…I wasn’t considering leaving the featherweight division for good. I’m the unified champion, this is my division, I say what I do now.”
McGregor has a plan for his future now that he’s made his point against Jose Aldo, and that’s to hold and defend both the UFC Featherweight and UFC Lightweight Championships in alternating fashion. Saying “I will do it,” McGregor argued that contenders in both divisions can emerge, and he’ll go up and down as necessary. As he argues, he’s already fighting more often than other champions, so he won’t be holding them up.
“When I go up for that lightweight belt and take that lightweight belt, I will still be the Featherweight Champion also. I will be a dual weight champion, there’s no going up and vacating,” he reiterated. “The belts will still be active, because I am active. I’m as active as any of them.”
Penick’s Analysis: McGregor gave perfect answers to every question asked at that press conference (and we’ll have much more on that tomorrow), but this really illustrates what just happened tonight. Conor McGregor is changing the game, and for as long as he stays successful, the UFC is no longer running the show. For the first time in a very long time, there is a fighter bigger and more important than the letter U, F, and C in succession who is willing to dictate their own terms and not acquiesce to the organization. He’s going to get what he wants one way or another, and the UFC now gets to try to meet the demands of the superstar monster they’ve helped create.