Despite his intentions to compete for a third UFC title in his immediate Octagon return this year, former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor has been urged by promotional color-commentator, Joe Rogan, to avoid welterweight best, Kamaru Usman – and accept a warm-up bout first instead.
Conor McGregor, who has been sidelined since July of last year, suffered a second straight loss for the first time in his professional, fracturing his left tibia resulting in an opening round doctor’s stoppage TKO defeat against three-time opponent, Dustin Poirier.
Conor McGregor has campaigned continually for a title fight against Kamaru Usman
In his time away from the Octagon, 33-year-old Conor McGregor, has spoken of his intentions to fight at the welterweight limit in his comeback to active competition, as well as outlining his intentions to fight the aforenoted, Usman immediately.
“I believe myself versus (Kamaru) Usman for the 170lb title for my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute,” Conor McGregor said. “I’ve gotten myself down to a lightweight frame, but I’m big now. I feel big. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I’ve got good energy.”
Speculating on Conor McGregor’s return – which UFC president, Dana White claimed is likely to occur in the fall, the above mentioned, Rogan suggested the former undisputed lightweight and featherweight titleholder should avoid Usman right away, in favor of a warm-up fight first and foremost.
“If Conor (McGregor) wants the most chance of success, I would say fight a guy who is a little below championship level,” Joe Rogan said on HotBoxin’ with Mike Tyson. “Maybe a guy on the come-up, who Conor has an advantage over, but it’s still a competitive fight. Give him a test, but don’t put him in there right away with (Kamaru) Usman.”
“I think, honestly, when boxers come back from a long layoff and they come back from a loss, one thing that boxers do that’s smart is they have a tune-up fight,” Joe Rogan continued. “I think there’s a reason why they’ve been using tune-up fights forever like astute managers. They know you’ve got to knock the dust off and you’ll be better in the next performance. To jump fight into a Dustin Poirier or right into, name it, Michael Chandler, like right into a guy who’s the elite of the elite.”
However, Rogan explained that should McGregor have his heart set on an attempt to become the first three-weight champion in promotional history – he should, but it’s not advisable.
“I think what Conor needs to do is what Conor wants to do,” Joe Rogan said. “If Conor thinks he can go up and fight Usman and make a big payday, try to become a three-division champion, he should do that. He should do whatever he wants to do, but if I was like a manager to him, and I said what’s the best path to success, the best path to success is like the ‘Cowboy’ (Donald Cerrone) fight. No disrespect to ‘Cowboy’, but that fight turned out to be kind of like a warm-up fight.”
McGregor’s most recent professional win came back in January 2020 in the main event of FUC 246 at the welterweight limit – stopping Donald Cerrone with a quickfire 40-second first round knockout win.