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18th Mar 2016

Conor McGregor is not “a legit champion” and doesn’t deserve a shot at RDA, claims British lightweight

Kevin Beirne

Conor McGregor’s dream of being the first two-weight champion in UFC history has hit a bit of a stumbling block.

The Notorious was due to face lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196, but after a broken foot forced the Brazilian to withdraw, McGregor was submitted by Nate Diaz in the second round.

While the Irishman has been hoping to get a second chance at RDA, all signs seem to be pointing towards a defence of his featherweight title – and that’s the way it should be, according to British lightweight Ross Pearson.

UFC Fight Night: Pearson v Trinaldo

“I don’t see why he Conor deserves to fight [for the belt] now after a loss,” Pearson told Starsport. “He fought a 55er at 170 that didn’t cut weight.

“Dos Anjos has already beaten Nate Diaz. If Conor had won that fight Conor’s stock market just went up tenfold.”

Rather than moving up a weight class, Pearson says the Irishman must stick at featherweight and prove he deserves to be champion by fighting Frankie Edgar.

“I think what Conor needs to do is go back down 145lbs and fight Frankie (Edgar),” he said.

“That’s the biggest name he has to get out of the 145lb division. Frankie Edgar is a guy that gives him the most trouble with his wrestling and his grappling.

“If he can beat Frankie he’s a legitimate champion. I don’t think he’s a legit champion already.”