UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is seemingly looking past his upcoming opponent Nate Diaz and has already set a new goal for himself.
“The Notorious” got a last-minute opponent change in the form of former lightweight title contender Nate Diaz when his original foe, lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, pulled out 11 days before fight night due to a broken foot.
McGregor will now be facing Diaz in a non-title welterweight bout at the main event of UFC 196 on Saturday, March 5th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
But despite not getting the opportunity to become the first fighter in the UFC to simultaneously hold two belts from two weight classes, the brash Irishman is looking at another goal.
Straight Blast Gym coach John Kavanagh had already brought up the idea for McGregor to have a title run at welterweight, 25 pounds heavier than his original weight class at 145-pounds, against champion Robbie Lawler.
During his open workout scrum on Wednesday at the MGM Grand, McGregor himself spoke about the idea of facing Lawler. And for him, the size difference he has with “Ruthless” would not be a problem.
“I like Robbie. I won’t say a bad word about Robbie. He fights with his heart. He’s been around the game so, so long. But if we fought, I would beat Robbie. I’m too fast for him.”
“The size difference is not anything,” he added. “I’ve stood beside him. I’ve seen him.”
McGregor is listed as at 5’9″ with a 74-inch reach, while Lawler is listed at 5’11”, with the same reach. But for McGregor and his team, jumping up two weight classes is an obvious non-issue.
In fact, McGregor says he is willing to take on “all belts” if given the opportunity.
“That is an appealing one for me, the welterweight [title]. All the belts. We’ll see.”
Lawler last saw action in January 2’s UFC 195, where he won via decision in a barnburner of a fight against former welterweight title contender Carlos Condit.