After Conor McGregor’s blisteringly fast 40-second knockout victory against Donald Cerrone, he already has his eyes locked on his next target. Everything from a Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch to a battle against Jorge Masvidal for the BMF are on McGregor’s radar. If McGregor plans on trying his hand at a new weight class, then Kamaru Usman, the current welterweight champion, thinks that McGregor should stick to his lane and stay out of the welterweight division. Here’s why that’s some good advice.
Conor McGregor builds one of the best UFC careers ever
Before McGregor’s loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, his run in the UFC was the stuff of legend. He was knocking everyone in the featherweight division out, talking a lot of trash, and just making a big name for himself. That notoriety blew up when he knocked out the long-reigning featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, in just 13 seconds. That is the fastest win in a championship fight in UFC history.
McGregor became something else after that fight, and so did his bank account. McGregor went on to fight Nate Diaz twice, Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, and then Floyd Mayweather in one of the biggest boxing events in recent history. All of those fights made McGregor and everyone around him a lot of money, but he wasn’t done yet.
Of course, in late 2018, McGregor fought and lost to Nurmagomedov, and in the aftermath of that fight, he spiraled downwards. He stopped fighting in the UFC, and he was getting himself into trouble elsewhere. But, this downfall wasn’t permanent, and McGregor focused on making a rebound.
He did that by changing things up, and it seems to have worked. In less than a minute, McGregor broke Cerrone’s nose with his shoulder, kicked Cerrone in the face, and then beat him up until the referee stopped the fight. But while McGregor won at the 170-pound welterweight division, Kamaru Usman doesn’t think that McGregor belongs there.
Kamaru Usman’s rise to be a UFC champion
Kamaru Usman, who’s an immigrant from Nigeria, started wrestling in college. His wrestling skills allowed him to dominate in the UFC, beating everyone who came in his way. Although Usman’s wrestling-heavy style, which is very similar to Nurmagomedov’s style, was considered boring by fans, Usman, like Nurmagomedov, just kept winning.
Undefeated in the UFC, Usman eventually got his title shot. And, just like in his other fights, he completely dominated the champion, Tyron Woodley. That fight cemented Usman’s claim as being the best welterweight in the world, but there was one man who also had that claim, Colby Covington.
Covington was the interim welterweight champion before the UFC stripped him of that title. His record was as good as Usman’s as both men only had one loss in their careers. So, Covington became Usman’s first title defense, and it was one of the best fights in 2019.
Both excel as wrestlers, but neither tried to wrestle. Instead, they kept the fight on their feet, and both men spent five rounds trying to knock each other out. It was a back-and-forth fight, but ultimately, with less than a minute to go, Usman broke Covington’s jaw and knocked him out.
Kamaru Usman’s warning to Conor McGregor
As FanSided reported, Usman told McGregor to “don’t even dream” about fighting for the welterweight title. That was likely in response to what McGregor said in an earlier interview that he’s open to fighting anyone at welterweight, including Usman.
But Kamaru Usman’s advice makes a lot of sense. He is simply too big for McGregor. Not only is Usman taller, but he’s also much heavier than McGregor is. That weight is due to all the muscle that Usman has a career welterweight fighter. McGregor beefed up to fight welterweight in his UFC return, and he may not be able to handle carrying that extra weight for an extended period.
McGregor was easily handled by Nurmagomedov, someone who was his size. Usman, on the other hand, fights like a larger and stronger Nurmagomedov. McGregor is smarter than his critics will admit. He knows those things as well. Even though McGregor says he’s open to fighting Kamaru Usman, he’s probably thinking about fighting Jorge Masvidal instead. But just to be sure, Usman fired a warning shot McGregor’s way.