Irish superstar and interim 145-pound champion the “Notorious” Conor McGregor has done wonders for not only the UFC, but the featherweight division as well.
In just six fights, McGregor has become one of the promotion’s biggest stars, and biggest draws while shining a new light on the entire division as well. The reality is that fans flock to see the “Notorious” one talk, and fight, but it seems as if the 145-pound division has become more compelling since his arrival as well.
That very division will now play host to the biggest fight in the history of the sport, as McGregor is set to take on reigning featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo in a title unification bout in the main event of December 12’s UFC 194.
We have already established the fact that the Irishman is good for the sport and the division whether fans like it or not, but if he were to become the undisputed champion would it be different? Would McGregor beating Aldo actually hurt the featherweight class?
I’d have to say yes, and based strictly on the future plans of McGregor. The “Notorious” one has discussed his game plan for the coming months, and years, and it seems to involve dismantling Aldo before heading up to the 155-pound weight class in which he also hopes to also conquer.
Let’s assume for a second that this plan becomes a reality. McGregor beats Aldo in December to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion. He then decides to move up to lightweight, which is a very real possibility as he cuts a ton of weight to get down to 145-pounds.
Where does that leave the featherweight division? In my opinion, it leaves the division as exactly what it’s been. A division that is nearly cleaned out, and ruled by a champion who hasn’t been all that active.
If the “Notorious” one were to indeed move up right away, which of course may not happen (if he even beats Aldo), he would undoubtedly have to relinquish the featherweight title.
Without McGregor in the division, “Scarface” is undoubtedly the best featherweight on the planet, and he may be even with the “Notorious” one still around.
I would predict that Aldo would essentially regain the title, and he has already beaten the No. 2, No. 3 (twice), No. 4, and No. 6-ranked fighters. Would there even be any challenges left for him?
Now you may be thinking, what if Aldo does beat McGregor? Wouldn’t we be in the same position? Essentially yes, but there would be the possibility of a rematch, and still some intriguing top contender bouts.
In the end, the best case scenario seems to be McGregor winning the title and defending it, which would open up many new and exciting bouts.
What are your thoughts on the topic?