Tim Simpson, a manager and agent for Paradigm Sports Management has claimed that the agency’s client, former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor could feasibly find himself slotted into a lightweight title challenge in his next Octagon outing, against either current champion, Charles Oliveira, or incoming title chaser, Justin Gaethje.
McGregor, who retains two fights on his current UFC contract, has been sidelined since July of last year where he suffered a fractured left tibia – resulting in a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss against former interim division champion, Dustin Poirier in the pair’s trilogy rubber match.
The defeat came as the second consecutively for the first time in McGregor’s career, following a prior knockout loss to Poirier in a January 2021 rematch on ‘Fight Island’. The defeat also came as the first time the Dubliner had been stopped with strikes in professional mixed martial arts competition.
In his time away from active competition, the 33-year-old Crumlin native has been linked with a slew of potential opponents for his Octagon return, but insisted recently that he would return to the sport in a lightweight title fight.
Reigning division best, Oliveira also welcomed a title fight against the former duel-weight champion, prior to eventually booking his May 7. defense against another former interim gold holder, Gaethje at UFC 274.
However, with McGregor expected to return to the UFC sometime this year, Simpson has claimed the agency’s client could find himself in a title bout upon his return, despite the fact he is riding a two-fight losing skid.
“Let’s see what happens in the title fight…”Tim Simpson said on The MMA Hour. “Would you be surprised? (If Conor McGregor fought for a title) The thing with Conor (McGregor) is he’s always had options. He’ll have options when he’s ready and regardless of everything else that’s going on in the division, he sells. He can fight anybody, regardless of what could be said is ‘right’ for the division. In the end, business rules. And he could step into that title fight if he wanted to.” (Transcribed by Sportskeeda)
Without a victory since January 2020, McGregor’s most recent win came in the form of a 40-second knockout win over former lightweight title challenger, Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 in a welterweight bout.
Furthermore, the Dubliner’s most recent lightweight win under McGregor’s belt came back in November 2016 where he became the first two-weight champion held simultaneously in promotional history with a second round knockout win over Eddie Alvarez.
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