9. Robbie Lawler
After having captured a second UFC title with his victory over Alvarez, McGregor has been expressing a lot of interest lately on possibly jumping back up to welterweight to challenge for that title as well. This isn’t the first time ‘Notorious’ has shown interest in this, however, as he once pondered the idea when ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler reigned as champion at 170 pounds.
In the lead-up to his previously scheduled lightweight title bout with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 (before being replaced by Nate Diaz due to injury), McGregor stated that he thinks he could defeat ‘Ruthless’ by utilizing his superior speed:
“I like Robbie, I won’t say a bad word about Robbie. He fights with his heart. He’s been around the game so, so long. But if we fought, I would beat Robbie. I’m too fast for him. The size difference is not anything. I’ve stood beside him. I’ve seen him. I respect [Lawler] as a champion, as a man who drifted off, came back, stayed on it and rose up and became the welterweight champion. We’ll see how that goes. That is an appealing one for me, the welterweight [title]. All the belts. We’ll see.”
If McGregor truly is considering making the jump up to challenge for his third UFC title, what better way to earn the opportunity than to defeat the man who once reigned as one of the most feared welterweight title holders of all time? Lawler possesses some of the most vicious striking power the 170-pound class has seen in recent years, and has shown extraordinary heart to overcome adversity and bring the best out of himself and his opponents.
Lawler would certainly pose some major threats to McGregor inside the Octagon, but McGregor’s accomplishments as of late have him on such a high that it most likely wouldn’t shock many fight fans if ‘Mystic Mac’ is able to emerge victorious.