UFC employee: Why not give Conor McGregor an immediate title shot?

At least one noted UFC talking head thinks that Conor McGregor's next fight should be for a belt.

By: Nate Wilcox | 1 month ago
UFC employee: Why not give Conor McGregor an immediate title shot?
Conor McGregor in the gym. | Everett Collection, IMAGO

Former two-division UFC champ Daniel Cormier has transitioned from respected athlete to full-time talking head as a UFC commentator and a podcast host. One of those professions is not like the other.

A combat sports champion lays it on the line in every competition where it’s clear who won and who lost. Talking heads? They just run their mouths with no consequences and no one keeping score.

By most accounts, Cormier excels at his new job just like he excelled at his old one.

He’s been listed as one of the 10 best UFC mic men of all time, a poll of Reddit users overwhelmingly rated him a good commentator.

Counter-point esteemed authority Dillon Danis branded him “the worst in the game” in a now-deleted 2022 tweet.

But even D.C. couldn’t miss how much Islam Makhachev upped his stock at UFC 294 with his first round head kick KO of featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski.

Should Conor McGregor get a shot at Makhachev’s belt? DC thinks so

Meanwhile, the rapidly-shrinking Conor McGregor fanbase has been kept waiting most of this year for Mystic Mac to re-enter USADA testing and then the Octagon, presumably for a long teased fight with his opposite The Ultimate Fighter coach Michael Chandler.

But, could it be that there’s another option out there. One that would put Makhachev firmly into the limelight? On a recent episode of his DC & RC show, UFC commentator Daniel Cormier campaigned for Conor McGregor to get a shot at the lightweight champ.

“It’s the biggest money fight the UFC can make and why not?” Cormier stated (transcript via MMA Fighting). “You have Islam Makhachev, who looks to be a guy who’s going to be a dominant champion. In order to have that dominant champion go to the next level of superstardom, you need a foil. You need a guy that can elevate him. The guy that can elevate him to that level is Conor McGregor.”

“Because look what Conor McGregor—or beating Conor McGregor—did for Dustin Poirier. Look at what it did for Khabib Nurmagomedov. We’re not even talking about all the other levels at which this just makes sense. You have Islam fighting Conor after the issues Conor’s had with Khabib and everything else. You have Islam fighting Conor, the biggest star in mixed martial arts coming back to the UFC. It makes sense.”

Cormier went on to explain how, because fans were dumb enough to believe McGregor could beat Floyd Mayweather back in 2017, they’d be easily sold on the idea that Makhachev vs. McGregor would be competitive in 2023.

“Think about the idea of how many people thought Conor had a legit shot at beating Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match. You can actually sell to people that Conor can fight Islam Makhachev.”

Good thing D.C. has a co-host on his podcast so that someone was there to check DC and remind everyone that the real reason he wants this is to help out his longtime training partner.

“…you are making this fight because you want to elevate your friend. Because you know, as good as he is, that nobody truly cares about the person Islam is without Conor McGregor,” co-host Ryan Clark shot back. “Because you know, as good as he is, that nobody truly cares about the person Islam is without a Conor McGregor, that Islam is not reaching and touching and building this monstrous brand that you want your friend to have.”

Dana White says Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler is the fight they’re making

A big reason this conversation is happening is because Conor McGregor keeps trying to find other people to fight than Michael Chandler. He’s tweeted about his desire to face Justin Gaethje for the “BMF” title. He’s tweeted about a rubber match against Nate Diaz. He even teased new bantamweight champ Sean O’Malley with the prospect of them co-headlining a UFC in December.

Things finally got bad enough that, back in August, UFC CEO Dana White had to make it clear to all and sundry that when (or if) Conor McGregor does return, he’ll absolutely be fighting Michael Chandler and nobody else.

“[Conor McGregor] likes to f—k with everybody,” Dana White told reporters at a Contender Series presser, after confirming that the Irishman was “definitely” fighting Chandler next. “You know what I mean? Especially his opponent, or possible opponents.”

If Dana White says something will “definitely” happen, you can book it. Amirite?

RECORD DATE NOT STATED MCGREGOR FOREVER, from left: Dee Devlin, Conor McGregor, aired May 17, 2023. photo: Netflix Courtesy Everett Collection PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY
Everett Collection, IMAGO

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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