Conor McGregor hopes to vie for his third divisional UFC title if he beats Michael Chandler later this year. And welterweight champion Leon Edwards didn’t shut down the idea of “Notorious” receiving a crack at his belt.
“Anyone can get it,” Edwards said when asked about McGregor at the UFC 286 post-fight press conference following his majority decision win over Kamaru Usman. “Prove your case in the division and I’ll give you a title shot.
“I want to be an active champion. I’m only young, you know? I want to be fighting and if you prove your case, then I’ll fight you — and that’s it.”
McGregor made the 170-pound title shot comment while appearing on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.” Notorious, who recently wrapped filming “The Ultimate Fighter” season 31 opposite Chandler, said that he’d “like” that fight if he gets past “Iron” later this year. He also confirmed during the show that their match would be at welterweight, but the Irishman stopped short of announcing a date or venue for their upcoming clash.
Edwards already has his next opponent, according to Dana White. The UFC boss also appeared at the presser and announced that “Rocky’s” second title defense would come against No. 2-ranked contender Colby Covington. Although White doesn’t know when or where the fight would go down, Covington — who attended the March 18 event in London, England — challenged Edwards to meet him in Las Vegas for UFC 290 on July 8.
McGregor Wants to Fight Twice in 2023
Notorious hasn’t fought in nearly two years. His last outing took place in July 2021 when he broke his leg during his trilogy affair with Dustin Poirier. McGregor’s leg is healed and he’s ready to get back to action. And he told Helwani that he hopes to get in two fights before the calendar flips to 2024.
“For sure [the goal is two fights in 2023], I can see it moving pretty fast when it moves,” McGregor told host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “We’re gearing up and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes and all, but I feel it will move fast. There’s no issue why it shouldn’t move fast. So I assume late summer [for Chandler], maybe a little bit later depending — I would like that. And then of course, that’s still half the year left.
“I wish for consistency. I’m working for consistency. Like I said before, I’ve had this on-off thing for a couple of years and it’s been frustrating, but be it for different reasons. But I’d like to just get past that and just get into this consistency bracket. And I feel I will, I feel I can, and I’m excited for it.”
McGregor Is ‘Addicted’ to the Fight Game
Notorious is the biggest superstar in mixed martial arts history, and if he doesn’t want to fight — he doesn’t have to. So when Helwani asked McGregor why he was making his comeback, the former two-division UFC champion said it was because of his addiction to competition.
“Competition, man,” McGregor said. Competition. It’s the best buzz ever. Why would you not want to do it? How would you not want to make this walk and experience this whole thing? It’s highly addictive and I’m highly addicted. So that’s it.”
If McGregor defeated Chandler and subsequently found himself fighting for 170-pound gold — something that’s not off the table considering he’s a pay-per-view juggernaut and his pull with the company is unprecedented — he’ll have the opportunity to become the promotion’s first-ever three-division champion.