Conor McGregor already has been a two-division UFC champion, but now it appears he wants to hold the “BMF” title.
With the Irish superstar’s return set for UFC 246 in a welterweight main event against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, he’s laid out an ambitious schedule for what he hopes will be a very busy 2020, according to UFC president Dana White.
White told ESPN.com McGregor “wants to fight three times” next year as he seeks to beat Cerrone, avenge his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and then potentially set up a blockbuster fight against Jorge Masvidal before 2020 is finished.
White said McGregor’s first choice is to bounce from the Cerrone fight to a rematch with Nurmagomedov. But that’s unlikely to happen given that Nurmagomedov is currently scheduled to face Tony Ferguson in April at UFC 249. The reigning lightweight champion is unlikely to return before late summer or early fall as he observes Ramadan through April and May.
Alternately, White said McGregor has shown interest in facing Masvidal, especially since he’s gearing up for a welterweight fight in January.
“Conor has this idea, too, that if things don’t go his way and he [doesn’t] get the fight [with Khabib], he’ll have had a 170 fight in his pocket again and [is] considering a [Jorge] Masvidal fight,” White said. “I think everybody knows what I think about it. I think it’s a bad idea.
“Conor gets pissed off when I say it’s a bad idea, and he’s like, ‘You think I can’t beat Masvidal?’ I’m not saying you can’t beat Masvidal. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, but why? Why go after that fight when you could possibly just wait?”
Perhaps the motivation is the “BMF” title that Masvidal captured in a lopsided win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244. A $50,000 championship belt was created specifically for that fight, but White has stated that he has no intentions to make the winner defend it.
A highly lucrative fight might change White’s mind, though.
“Conor wants that belt from Masvidal,” White said. “I did it as a one off and like I said, it was fun. It was awesome. We’ll see what happens.”
More than anything, McGregor’s willingness to bounce between welterweight and lightweight while calling out Nurmagomedov and Masvidal only further solidifies White’s longstanding opinion about him.
“This is the reason Conor McGregor is so intriguing and why so many fans love to watch him fight,” White said. “And you’ve got to love the fact that a guy is willing to fight anybody.”
“Believe me, I’ve said this a million times, I’ll say it again, I’ve been in the trenches and when we’re standing the living room and fights pull out, Conor McGregor will fight anybody.”