Conor McGregor has confirmed that he will be returning to the UFC’s lightweight division after most recently competing at welterweight.
Lightweight is actually the weight class at which Conor McGregor has spent the least amount of time during his UFC career, despite many suggesting that it was always his natural division.
After spending most of his UFC career at featherweight, McGregor twice fought Nate Diaz at welterweight before he made his UFC lightweight debut to win the title against Eddie Alvarez.
McGregor failed to regain the title in his next UFC outing, a clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov at 155lbs, and when ‘The Notorious’ last fought, in January of this year, he did so at 170lbs against Donald Cerrone.
McGregor is due to return to the Octagon next January in a rematch with Dustin Poirier and many – head coach John Kavanagh included – believed the fight would take place at welterweight.
Watching @TheNotoriousMMA do MMA rounds lately has been a real joy and education. Fluidity of movement with elite level timing and skill. Dustin has improved so much since first meeting, conor has improved much more imo. To see them hydrated & healthy at 170 will be fascinating
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) October 16, 2020
UFC President Dana White had no interest in making McGregor vs. Poirier II at welterweight, however, and it seems like the Irishman has agreed to that condition.
“Fresh out of the McGregor FAST Laboratory today,” McGregor tweeted on Friday afternoon.
Fresh out of the McGregor FAST Laboratory today. Full body composition scan complete and the results came back =
Lightweight Division incoming 👑 pic.twitter.com/4CiZOFkL2H
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 30, 2020
“Full body composition scan complete and the results came back = Lightweight Division incoming.”
What likely made McGregor’s decision to return to lightweight easier is the fact that the belt is set to be vacated at 155lbs after Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement last Saturday night.
It’s unknown whether McGregor vs. Poirier II will be for the vacant lightweight strap or if the rematch will serve as one part of a four-man tournament – also involving Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje – to decide the next champion.
It could also be the case that, as Dana White suspects, that Nurmagomedov hangs around for one more fight and attempts to take his professional record to 30-0.