Recently, UFC Fight Night 26’s Conor McGregor came out with some very confident statements about where he plans to go next in the UFC featherweight division. Not impressed by the UFC 163 showdown between Jose Aldo and Chan Sung Jung, McGregor believes he’s ready to step into the cage against either of them.
McGregor is set to face Max Holloway at UFC Fight 26 from the TD Garden in Boston, Mass., this Saturday, and he’ll have the full backing of Boston’s large Irish-American contingent behind him. An impressive showing could build on his brutal knockout of Marcus Brimage at UFC on Fuel 9 earlier this year, and net him a big-name bout in the increasingly more talented 145 lb. arena.
Another name that McGregor spoke up about is surging contender Cub Swanson, noting that he thinks himself to be in better shape. Swanson is on a huge roll right now, having won five fights in a row. When the former WEC contender caught wind of McGregor’s comments, he spoke up to MMA Roasted with a quick response:
"I like the kid, I really see a future with him in the UFC, because he is talented. But he runs his mouth and I just feel like you've got to be careful when you do that. For some reason he decided to take shots at me. I'm a fan of the sport, I'm a fan of many fighters, but as soon as they look at me and start barking at me, the fighter in me comes out and I'm like, ‘You better watch your damn mouth.'
That would be a fight that I would love to do once he makes a name for himself, but still right now he's a nobody. We'll see. If he lives up to the hype that I think he will, than I see me fighting him down the road, but for now, he's gotta at least fight somebody in the top 10."
Swanson makes a great point here, as McGregor is one of the finest prospects on the UFC roster, but he’s still just that. McGregor mentioned that he didn’t “give a s***” about Swanson, but Swanson came out and deemed McGregor a nobody. McGregor has a big opportunity on Saturday, one that could definitely propel him to be being the face of Irish MMA, a role that is currently unoccupied.
But perhaps that’s what McGregor should be focused on right now, beating Holloway rather than calling out the very best fighters in his division. There’s a great chance that he’ll meet up with them one day in the octagon, but Swanson is right when he says McGregor will have to fight someone in the top ten first.