If all goes well at UFC 178, Conor McGregor wouldn’t mind another quick return. | Ciarán Maher /Sherdog.com
UFC featherweight Conor McGregor has very little patience these days.
Ever since making his return from an ACL injury and scoring a scintillating first-round TKO over Diego Brandao, the Irishman has stated that he doesn’t plan to do much waiting in line while the rest of the division awaits their turn at a title shot.
With a crowded group lobbying for a shot at Aldo, McGregor is aware that he needs to quickly make an impression in order to add his name to the rest of the featherweight fray. And he has just the plan to make it happen.
The Dublin native will make a swift return to the Octagon at UFC 178 when he faces Dustin Poirier for his second fight in just over two months. If McGregor has his way, this won’t be the last quick turnaround you’ll see from him this year.
“They are bringing the big dog over here on one of the biggest cards of the year, and I’m going to capitalize on the opportunity,” McGregor said during UFC 178 media day in Las Vegas on Monday.
McGregor outlined a few colorful ways that he’ll make Poirier do the “stanky leg” before knocking him out on Sept. 27.
“I’m going to put him away in spectacular fashion and eliminate everyone in my path while continuing my crusade to the top,” he said.
For McGregor, quick turnarounds are actually better for him as long as he remains injury free. The 25-year-old explained that it would be his opponents’ worst nightmare to see him back in the cage quickly after dispatching Poirier. As a fighter’s fighter, in his eyes it is best to stay busy by fighting as often as he can. It keeps the skills sharp and makes him even more dangerous to face.
“I’ll fight anywhere,” McGregor said while surveying the MGM Grand’s hotel lobby for a place he could put his hands on Poirier. “I’ll fight right now. Wherever the money is. I’m here for the money and the gold. Wherever it is, I’ll show up and do my job.
“I just want that title by the end of the year.”
Certainly, those are lofty expectations considering that the current champion, Jose Aldo, hasn’t fought more than twice in a calendar year since fighting four times in 2009. He’ll defend his title for the second time this year against Chad Mendes at UFC 179 after an injury canceled their original date in August. That means it is highly unlikely that the winner will be back in the Octagon before the end of 2014.
But don’t fret; the always outspoken McGregor has a plan.
If an injury to Mendes were to prevent him from facing Aldo on Oct. 25, and if McGregor were to come out of his fight with Poirier victorious and unscathed, would the SBG Ireland representative step up on four weeks’ notice for a chance at the gold?
“That’s perfect!” McGregor said as a massive grin stretched across his face.
While noting that other fighters would turn down such an opportunity without having a full training camp, McGregor welcomes the idea with open arms. After all, considering how often injuries happen in MMA, why would you ever pass up on an opportunity to become the champion?
“That’s a big possibility, and I would be 100 percent ready,” McGregor continued. “You might have just put another vision into my head aside from knocking out Poirier.”