The world of mixed martial arts is abuzz with excitement as Conor McGregor, one of the most dynamic and charismatic fighters in the history of the sport has announced his intentions to pursue a welterweight title shot with a win over Michael Chandler. McGregor, who has won titles in both the featherweight and lightweight divisions, is no stranger to taking on new challenges and pushing himself to the limit.
McGregor indicated that he might travel to UFC 286 to witness Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3 on a special episode of The MMA Hour. He has a strong interest in how it turns out.
“Yeah, I’d like [a welterweight title shot], So I’d like that,” McGregor said. “I may be present for the card, we are making moves at the Black Forge in London, so I was scheduled to go out there so after this, Gunni’s (Gunnar Nelson) is also on the card so it would be good to see him live. It would be good to watch that welterweight title for sure.”
The weight division of McGregor vs. Chandler, the UFC's season-ending matchup just after The Ultimate Fighter 31, has not been made official by the promotion. Nonetheless, Dana White stated publicly that it will be rather lightweight.
The road to a welterweight title shot won't be an easy one, however. Michael Chandler, McGregor's opponent, is a formidable opponent who has made a name for himself in the lightweight division. Chandler has impressive knockout power, excellent wrestling skills, and a relentless work ethic that has earned him a legion of fans. If McGregor can defeat Chandler, it would be a significant achievement and a clear signal that he is ready to take on the best welterweights in the world.
After fracturing his leg at UFC 264, the former two-division champion has gained weight, raising questions about PED usage, and resulting in the admission that he was not included in the UFC's drug screening program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
It's unclear if McGregor would receive a championship opportunity if he prevailed. But Edwards as well as Usman both have mentioned the Irishman in the past, and a showdown between the pair would really be huge because McGregor would be seeking to become the very first person to hold the title of three-weight world champion. But first, McGregor must prevail over Chandler in his upcoming bout.
McGregor has fought 3 times at welterweight up to this point, sharing his matches with Nate Diaz in the first two before crushing Donald Cerrone in a rematch in 2020. Afterward, he lost to Dustin Poirier in back-to-back lightweight contests, dropping the first one via knockout and the second through a leg break in a trilogy battle.