Conor McGregor has been tipped to walk straight back into a UFC title fight, a decision which is likely to have Dana White fielding calls.
McGregor, a former two-weight UFC champion, has seen his MMA career take a rather drastic nosedive in recent years.
The Irishman has been defeated three times in his last four fights, with his most recent loss, in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier, coming via doctor stoppage after he suffered a nasty leg break.
McGregor has been on the sidelines ever since that night at UFC 264 which ended in agony, with the assumption being that he’s now in the home straight of his recovery and a return to the UFC is on the horizon.
Considering McGregor’s recent ill-fortune and the high probability that he will be rusty upon his return, you’d think that he would take a warm-up fight before attempting to manoeuvre himself into the title conversation.
However, there appears to be a legitimate possibility that McGregor walks straight back into a title shot.
Speaking on YouTube, MMA expert Chael Sonnen revealed that there are discussions underway to provide McGregor with the opportunity to fight the winner of Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.
“They are talking about giving Conor a world title fight right when he comes back, that conversation did not go away.”
“That got called to Dana White one time and Dana did not dismiss it, he did not commit to it but he didn’t dismiss it.”
Quotes transcribed by the Daily Star
Oliveira has reigned as the UFC Lightweight Champion ever since defeating Michael Chandler via TKO at UFC 262. He successfully defended his title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 and will attempt to do so once more when he takes on Gaethje.
Should he be able to navigate the fight against Gaethje, McGregor could be next on the list for Oliveira, if Chael Sonnen is to be believed. That’s unlikely to be popular with other fighters in the division.
The UFC is supposed to be a meritocratic organisation. Perhaps that’s an idealistic view, but giving McGregor a fight of that magnitude as soon as he returns to action would set a bad precedent going forward.
Dana White would obviously and unapologetically be using McGregor as a pawn to maximise PPV sales, which some would merely argue is good business from a businessman.
However, he ought to remember that he has an extensive roster of lightweight fighters who are putting their health on the line by fighting in hope of working their way up the pecking order.
McGregor has not earned the chance to fight for a title. Favourable decision-making from White towards McGregor is a one-way street to causing discontent across the division.