Search icon


08th Apr 2018

Wheels were in motion to have Conor McGregor fight for interim welterweight title

This would have made very little sense

Darragh Murphy

The Conor McGregor haters would have had a field day with this one.

It will likely be some time before McGregor’s name is in the headlines in relation to a potential return to the Octagon but it could have been so different.

‘The Notorious’ is almost certainly set for an even lengthier spell away from competition following his ill-advised antics at the Barclays Centre on Thursday afternoon.

McGregor will have to return to court in June to discover his fate after smashing up a bus and injuring several individuals in an act that has been described by UFC President Dana White as “the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company.”

But prior to his attack on the bus, McGregor was in negotiations with the UFC to return to the Octagon after almost two years away.

“We were actually working on a new deal and a new plan for him all this week,” Dana White told ESPN on Friday. “Then he shows up and this happens.”

The fact that the Irishman has never defended a world title is a constant source of criticism and if the UFC’s most recent plans had come to fruition, it would not have gone down well with many fans.

According to MMA Fighting reporter Ariel Helwani, talks were underway to have McGregor take on Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title this spring.

McGregor was scheduled to fight Dos Anjos in 2016, when the Brazilian was lightweight champion, but the fight fell apart due to an injury to RDA and Nate Diaz stepped in on short notice to submit McGregor.

Dos Anjos has since moved up to welterweight and quickly put together a perfect 3-0 record at 170lbs.

Once the discussions with McGregor came to an abrupt end thanks to his moment of madness in that loading dock, the UFC confirmed that Dos Anjos would instead meet Colby Covington for the interim welterweight championship.

The mere fact that an interim title has been created at 170lbs has been heavily ridiculed as champion Tyron Woodley has not even been out of action for a year and has never been accused of inactivity, having fought twice in 2017 and 2016.

Dos Anjos vs. Covington for the interim strap is strange enough. We can only imagine the furore if McGregor had leapfrogged all of the top welterweights to get a shot at gold.