McGregor On ‘Cowboy’, Masvidal, Gaethje, Usman, Covington And Khabib
Conor McGregor returns at UFC 246, after what will be a fifteen month layoff since he last fought against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. The Irishman will face ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in the main event.
Speaking to The Mac Life, McGregor opened up on why he chose to comeback against ‘Cowboy’
“Me and Donald had a history for a while, right? And I did say I’d fight him. If you look at the list of call outs, or the people who I’ve engaged with, Donald was probably one of the first ones. So he’s first on the list, and that’s it. And I’ll get to every single one of them also.”
When Dana White announced McGregor vs ‘Cowboy’ would headline UFC 246, the UFC president also confirmed that the fight would be at welterweight, and not lightweight as expected. The former UFC two division champion explained the reason for this.
“First of all, [170lbs is] what I weigh right now. What’s the lightweight title fight on? April is it? Why cut weight to [155lbs]? Likely something will happen there, so I’ll be ready to slot in for that bout. I’ll just have a fight. A good solid camp at 170 with no weight cut, a good fight, I know Donald’s a good fighter, great records. Most knockdowns, most head kicks, most fights, most rounds, he’s got a lot of UFC records under his belt so I’ll get a great camp, a great fight, and it’ll take me into the year.
“I’m looking at this as a season, so this is the beginning of the season. Donald was the first one that I agreed to have a bout with, and here we are.”
McGregor stated that without a weight cut down to 155lbs ahead of UFC 246, he will be ready to step in if anything happens to Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson ahead of their main event title fight at UFC 249. The 31 year old also stated that part of the reason he’s fighting at 170lbs is because he has an eye on Jorge Masvidal and the rest of the UFC welterweight division.
“I’d face Jorge. I’m not going to 170 just for Jorge. He hasn’t got really anything, I wasn’t really happy with how that bad motherfucker thing ended. I think it’s unfinished. In my opinion, that was unfinished. It was only getting into a good bout, I believe. We were robbed of rounds four and five in that bout.
“But I like that welterweight bout. I like that welterweight title fight that was on the weekend, I like the look of that, I like the look of Kamaru Usman. I like the look of Colby [Covington]. I’m just open to it all at 170. A lot of people forget about my skill base. I’m going to go in there and remind them, I don’t feel these people are on my level when I am committed. … I look forward to going back and showcasing my skills to the people.”
While most of the MMA world is excited for the Conor vs ‘Cowboy’ fight, many fans believed Justin Gaethje would have been a more deserving opponent for McGregor’s return.
Gaethje consistently called out McGregor in 2019 and has been very vocal in stating that Conor should be behind him in line to get the next title shot. When asked about Justin, ‘The Notorious’ insisted that ‘he’s on the list’.
“He’s on the list. He’s on the list. Maybe I’ll face him next. He has it coming to him. I mean, I laugh at old Justin. He’s bleedin’ — he’s a funny guy. He’s been taking it very to heart, and I know the feeling when you do that. So maybe I’ll go through Donald, and I’ll have a quick turnaround against Justin. Maybe that’ll be what happens. But Justin is on the list, no doubt.”
McGregor’s attention was then brought to Khabib, who stopped him in the fourth round of their meeting at UFC 229.
“He is trembling. That man is trembling. He doesn’t want it. He doesn’t want it. You get it and he’s trying not to lose it again. I just smell s***. That’s all it is. He’s afraid and that’s it.
“But everyone wants it. The boss wants it, Dana wants it, we all want it. So he can run but he cannot hide. I look forward to it.”
Despite the loss, and despite what McGregor called a horrendous fight camp, Conor still took the positives out of the fight. Adding that he landed the last shot of the night.
“In my mind, round one, I won round one. I outstruck him 3-to-1. He had position on the mat but I outstruck him 3-to-1. What did he do in that first round? Second round, look at the lackadaisical approach I had, he was just running around the outside of the cage and he caught that lucky shot and he had a great second round. What happened after that? I win the third round.
“Even the opening exchanges in the fourth round. I was winning the fourth round up until that trip. And that was after a horrendous camp where I was so disrespectful to the people that believe in me. So disrespectful to my team with my lack of commitment and I still went out and done that. Then I also landed the final blow of the night on his blood brother and his cousin.”
UFC 246 goes down on January 18th at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With such big plans for 2020, how do you think Conor McGregor’s year will go?