Could the ‘Notorious’ one get a title shot at 170 pounds next?
Leon Edwards at the UFC 286 press conference. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
If he gets a win against Michael Chandler after their TUF coaching stint, Conor McGregor wants to challenge for the UFC welterweight championship, Kristen King reports for SB Nation.
During a special edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the ‘Notorious’ one shared that he has set his sights on the winner of Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman III, which goes down at UFC 286 on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London.
“I’d like [a welterweight title shot],” said McGregor. “I would like that, for sure.
“I may be present for the card,” continued McGregor. “I have the Black Forge — we are making moves at the Black Forge in London and I’m scheduled to go out there, so after this, Gunni [Gunnar Nelson] is also on the card, so it would be good to see him live. And it would be good to watch that welterweight title [fight], for sure.”
Since suffering a broken leg at UFC 264, in his most recent appearance, McGregor has said that he would move from lightweight to welterweight long term—as the latter was more of his ‘natural state’ as a fighter. The former UFC champion has shown off a bulkier physique in photos and videos in recent months.
Though adding ‘Iron’ to his résumé would hold more weight at 155, it could get him far at 170, too. Ahead of their trilogy fight, Edwards and Usman expressed interest in facing McGregor.
“Yeah, sure,” said Edwards at the UFC 286 pre-fight press conference. “Like I said, I welcome all comers. Him, whoever comes next. Now, I’m focused on Kamaru Usman. I believe he’s the toughest challenge right now in the division, so I’m focused on that. Whoever comes next, that’s what it is.”
“I’ve always said I welcome it, so if it happens, it happens,” said Usman.
For now, though, McGregor has Chandler in his crosshairs. Now that they have finished filming The Ultimate Fighter, both men are expected to share the Octagon near the end of the year.