MMA Ratings Podcast

January 22, 2020

UFC 246: After Cerrone Win, Conor McGregor Should Stay At 170 Pounds Going Forward

By Adam Martin

Conor McGregor returned to form this past weekend at UFC 246 when he destroyed Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds to re-emerge as the sport's biggest superstar. McGregor hadn't won a fight since November 2016, when he vanquished Eddie Alvarez to capture the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205, but he quickly made fans forget about his setbacks since then with the win over Cerrone in their non-title welterweight superfight.

Though McGregor has competed the majority of his career at featherweight and lightweight and been a champion in both weight classes in the UFC, he looked so good in this welterweight fight against Cerrone that I would argue that he should remain at the weight class. McGregor himself said he never felt so good in training camp and during his weight cut, and given the way he ran through Cerrone, he would be wise to stick at 170 lbs and see how far he can go in the division.

Making the move to welterweight would be a completely fresh start for McGregor after missing all of 2019 due to legal issues outside of the cage. McGregor is now trying his best to do damage control and recreate his image with the fans and media. He wants to make everyone forget about everything that's happened in the past year, and getting a fresh start after the big win over Cerrone is one way to do just that.

I would also argue that the bigger money fights are available for McGregor at 170 lbs. Obviously, a rematch with current UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at 155 lbs is a massive fight, and a slugfest against Justin Gaethje would be big too. But at 170, McGregor has a potential fight for the BMF title against emerging superstar Jorge Masvidal, which is the fight that most fans and media want to see next. There's also the possibility of a potential trilogy against Nate Diaz at welterweight.

And of course McGregor could also make history if he can defeat UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman and become the UFC's first three-division champion. McGregor is the kind of fighter who is always trying to break records and add to his legacy. If he could beat Masvidal and then beat Usman to win the welterweight belt, you'd have to start talking about McGregor as potentially the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

Ultimately, I believe Conor McGregor will fight where the money fights are at. If UFC President Dana White believes the biggest fights are at 155 lbs, then McGregor will fight there. But there are big fight opportunities are at 170 lbs, and McGregor should stay there. Even though he could very well bounce between weight classes, it would be a better idea to stick at one weight and see how he does. And with the possibility of fights against Masvidal, Diaz, and Usman at 170 lbs, I'd like to see McGregor stick around at welterweight, particularly given how good to looked against Cerrone. But White will make the final call.

UFC 246
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone: Conor McGregor def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) at 0:40 of Round 1.

UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy took place January 18, 2020 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click HERE for more UFC 246 Post-Fight Analysis

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