Conor McGregor is going after a second UFC title next month at UFC 196, but there’s growing conversation about him potentially targeting a third for his next fight.
In a new piece penned at The42.ie, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh threw support behind the idea of McGregor fighting Robbie Lawler at UFC 200 after he faces Rafael dos Anjos.
“I’ve seen that rumours of Conor fighting Robbie Lawler for the 170 lbs belt at UFC 200 on [July 9] have been gathering momentum,” he wrote. “It’s not something we have discussed specifically but after Conor wins the lightweight belt, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the next fight is for the welterweight belt.
“If that’s what Conor wants to do, I’ll absolutely support that move. I think that would be fantastic. We’re already talking about making history in a few weeks, but can you imagine what it will be like if Conor is the champion in three weight classes by the summer?”
While McGregor chasing a third belt would be something historic and unheard of, it would leave nothing but questions for what happens to both the featherweight and lightweight divisions as he once again doesn’t defend a title. Kavanagh believes that’s something they could figure out as they went along.
“He’s obviously already the Featherweight Champion but we haven’t thought about that recently as we’ve been totally focused on the lightweight belt. Once that’s out of the way, we’ll talk about what to do with the featherweight belt.
“As time goes on, it’s harder to predict what will happen in the future. Conor has a sort of unusual body type in that even though he can make featherweight, he’s still a very big lightweight. Given some time, as well as a bit of strength and conditioning work, he could also be a force at welterweight. This is an interesting time.”
Penick’s Analysis: It’s an interesting time indeed. It’s also another wrinkle into the Welterweight Title picture, and leaves one wondering if the UFC would be willing to go that route for UFC 200. I think it somewhat depends on Georges St-Pierre and whether or not he returns, as well as whether Carlos Condit or Stephen Thompson are in the mix for that title. Also, if McGregor goes after a third belt, would the UFC ask him to drop the Featherweight Title? Or set up an Interim Title until he gets back down to defend? If McGregor captures a second belt next month, and moves out of both divisions, we’re going to start seeing Interim Title fights booked until he can defend, which isn’t the worst thing, but certainly hurts whichever divisions he’s leaving behind.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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