With his win over Eddie Alvarez early on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 13, Conor McGregor has become the first fighter in the history of the UFC to be the champion of two weight divisions. After beating Alvarez, McGregor has claimed the lightweight belt, while holding on to the featherweight belt. His next test will be defending each belt, meaning that he will have to fight someone in each of those weight classes in a title fight.
The fight was a very quick one for McGregor. He pummeled Alvarez, knocking him down five times, the fifth knockdown resulting in a Technical knockout (TKO). Alvarez just seemed overmatched by the Irishman’s lightning fast footwork and superb boxing technique. For his performance in the match, McGregor was awarded “Performance of the Night” honors by the UFC. Fights like this are why OddsShark has named Conor McGregor the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
McGregor is not new to the UFC scene and has been heading towards a title for some time now. Standing at 5’9” and 145 lbs, McGregor is a featherweight that packs a huge punch. The 28-year-old mixed martial artist from Dublin, Ireland has extended his impressive career record to 21-3-0. The only thing more grandiose than his statistics is his personality. His fighter nickname “The Notorious” shows this a little bit, as do his taunts before and during his fights. Before this past fight, he told MMA Fighting that he will retire Alvarez and that, “His wife and kids will never recognize him again.” During his fight, he taunted Alvarez repeatedly, even putting his arms behind his back at one point during the fight.
After his fight, McGregor declared that he should have a stake in the UFC due to his influence on their prosperity. He came prepared with statistics that illustrate a direct correlation between his presence and increased UFC revenue. One statistic showed the drastic drop in revenue at UFC 200, the event where the UFC did not allow McGregor to compete because he failed to fulfill media obligations. As he said in the post-fight interview, “I am aware of my worth.” Celebrities such as Conan O’ Brien have stake in the company without contributing any value. McGregor argues that he should be able to have at least the same amount of stake that these celebrities have, if not more, because of his value to the company.
The thing is, McGregor is right. He is of so much value to the company that they need him a bit more than he needs them right now. He has made clear that he does not intend to fight until he gets the stake he deserves and there isn’t much that the UFC can do to stop him. He is soon to be a father, and he wants to spend time with his child. If he doesn’t get his stake, he says, he won’t be able to provide for his child the way he wants to. This is all relative, being that McGregor made well over 20 million dollars in the last 12 months.
The UFC also does not want McGregor to be able to hold two belts and said that they will have to take one of them. At the UFC 205 Conference, McGregor fired back, “I’m going to wrap one (belt) on one shoulder, and I’m going to wrap the other on the other shoulder, and they’re going to need a fucking army to come take them belts off me.” McGregor will not be told “no” by the UFC or by anyone.
With this big win, McGregor is on top of the world. The next thing people want to know is: who’s next? What about top-ranked featherweight Jose Aldo? Or a ‘superfight’ against Floyd Mayweather, the best boxer in the world. In reality, it is impossible to say what is next for McGregor because at this stage of his career, he truly can do whatever he wants.