Conor McGregor doesn’t sound like a man who’s ready to relinquish some of his championship hardware.
On Tuesday, UFC President Dana White announced that if McGregor, the reigning 145-pound king, wins the lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 (live odds), the Irishman will have to vacate one of the belts. However, when questioned on the matter at a press conference on Tuesday, the “Notorious” one didn’t seem to be in on the plan.
“I’m gonna wrap one [belt] on one shoulder and I’m gonna wrap one on the other shoulder, and you’re gonna need a f—-ing army to come take them belts off me,” McGregor said.
McGregor captured the featherweight strap with a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo this past December. The SBG Ireland representative hasn’t defended the title at all in 2016, instead facing Nate Diaz twice at 170 pounds before being booked to face Alvarez on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden.
With McGregor pursuing other fights, the promotion created an interim featherweight championship, which Aldo won by defeating Frankie Edgar via decision at UFC 200. However, Aldo has become frustrated with the state of the division and recently requested that the UFC terminate his contract.
No fighter in UFC history has held titles in two divisions simultaneously, but McGregor likes his chances of finding more success at lightweight. After all, he held belts at both 145 and 155 pounds in his previous home: Cage Warriors Fighting Championship.
“I’m very happy with the 155-pound weight limit,” he said. “Of all the divisions I’ve ran around and ran through, 155 I feel will be the one where I take over the most. So I look forward to that.”
The former Bellator MMA lightweight champion, Alvarez had plenty of hype behind his Octagon debut but fell to Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Since then, the Philadelphia native bested Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis via split decision before capturing the UFC crown with a first-round stoppage of Rafael dos Anjos. McGregor was not impressed with Alvarez’s path to the championship.
“I thought it was very sloppy. The shot selection was very very poor. He got blessed with a lucky shot,” McGregor said. “His UFC career has been horrendous. He’s very, very lucky to be in the position he’s in. He understands that. That’s why he took this fight on the money he was on the last fight. That says it all.”
When McGregor lost to Diaz by second-round submission at UFC 196, the featherweight king was visibly fatigued after hunting for a knockout in the opening frame. In their rematch at UFC 202, his stamina was improved as he held on for a majority decision over five hard-fought rounds. That gives the Irishman confidence that his gas tank will hold up against Alvarez.
“In four months I overcame a triathlete. I outlasted a triathlete with 30 pounds on me and whooped his ass,” McGregor said. “This guy’s a balloon. He ain’t no cardio machine. One clinch and he’s gasping for air as well.”
With that in mind, McGregor expects to make short work of Alvarez when the UFC makes its debut in the Empire State.
“He’s chinny. He gets cracked; he gets dropped, It’s happened throughout his career,” McGregor said. “He’s a weathered fighter. He’s on his way out. One round it will take me to knock him out.”