This year has proven to be a great for Conor McGregor. So far in 2015, the “Notorious One” improved his MMA record to 19-2-0 by winning his three fights this year. It should be noted that McGregor is currently on a 15-fight win streak. Not only that, but McGregor also won the UFC featherweight interim championship by defeating Chad Mendes at UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor, followed by becoming the undisputed UFC featherweight champion by defeating previously undefeated José Aldo at UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor.
It should also be noted 2015 has also been a great year for Rafael dos Anjos. The MMA lightweight fighter is 25-7-0 and is currently on a five-fight win streak. This year, he defeated Anthony Pettis at UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos to become the UFC lightweight champion. Nine months later at UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2, he was successful in his first title defense against Donald Cerrone.
Summarized, 2015 has been a successful year for both Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos. However, one might end the wave of success of the other at UFC 198 if the rumors of McGregor fighting dos Anjos at the event prove to be true.
The rumors were reported by ENTimports in which they confirm Conor McGregor will be fighting Rafael dos Anjos in March of 2016 for the UFC lightweight championship. If this is proven true, it will be interesting to see how UFC will handle the situation. If, by chance, McGregor wins, will he be the dual holder of two UFC championships and will he have to fight in two weight divisions, adjusting for each fight he takes? If not, will he have to surrender the UFC featherweight championship?
Whatever the case, the possibilities are unique if they prove to be true. The fact that the confirmation was made on an MMA news site most fight fans haven’t heard of is sketchy. Even if the announcement weren’t made on an MMA site, it would make better sense for UFC to make such an announcement on a site that at least has a high ranking possibly in the top 1,000 sites in the United States.
To be fair, such a rumor would earn credence among the MMA community simply because Conor McGregor hyped up such a move to the lightweight division, or, at least, his coach, John Kavanaugh, has. According to MMA Mania, Kavanagh made it known that McGregor is already focused on the “stuck in the mud division.”
“What’s next for Conor? The lightweight belt. We’re going to take a little break from that cut down to 145lbs, even though this was one was the easiest so far. But in saying that, ‘easy’ is a relative term. It still requires a level of discipline that 99.9% of people wouldn’t have, never mind be able to compete as well the following day. So the next step will be winning the title in the 155lbs division. The current champion, Rafael dos Anjos, defends the belt against Donald Cerrone tomorrow night. Regardless of who comes out on top, we’ve been given the green light to fight the winner. We believe that’ll be in April but I’m looking forward to this weekend’s fight too. I’ll be watching eagerly to see who it is. I’m expecting a close fight but if I was to bet–which I won’t–I’d say Rafael dos Anjos will win it. If Frankie Edgar wants a shot at the featherweight title or Aldo wants a rematch, we’re fine with that too. But they’ll have to wait, because that lightweight belt is next on the agenda.”
Not to mention, Conor McGregor already has heat in the UFC lightweight division, especially with both Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone. During the UFC Go Big Event, McGregor ripped apart both UFC lightweight fighters (and the entire men’s division actually) saying that anyone would give up any fight they were signed to if they had a chance to fight McGregor because he is the “money fight.”
Nevertheless, the MMA community should take this rumor with a grain of salt. If it proves to be true, we will be treated to an amazing fight this coming March. If not, then one wouldn’t be disappointed.
[Photos by Steve Marcus/Getty Images and Christian Petersen/Getty Images]