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Kavanagh: Conor McGregor welterweight title run possible for 2017

Conor McGregor's coach believes that his fighter could take a run at the UFC's welterweight title in 2017.

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UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor will get his shot at a second belt at UFC 197 when he takes on lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos. If he is able to claim that title as well, his coach believes in the possibility of him going after a third UFC belt in 2017 - the welterweight crown.

John Kavanagh wrote an article for The 42, an Irish news outlet, stating that Conor's still a big lightweight at welterweight is a viable option:

"Conor has been cutting down to 145lbs since he was 16. He’s now 27 so it will be nice to take a break from that weight-cut. We’ve done it plenty of times before and we’ll do it again. Funnily enough, the last weight-cut — for the Aldo fight — was probably the best one yet thanks to the help of George Lockhart, who’s on board again for this fight. He’s part of the team now. You’ve seen Conor on salads… now watch what he’s like on steak.

It just allows us to focus even more on training and less on cutting weight. I think people will be surprised too when they see him standing beside these guys and they realise that even at lightweight, Conor is a pretty big guy.

And maybe the pursuit of belts won’t stop there either. I’ve said from the beginning that welterweight may not be out of the question. One of Conor’s main sparring partners, Gunnar Nelson, is a welterweight, so Conor is very used to that feel. I would not be at all surprised if we’re preparing to go for a third belt a year from now."

He also states that McGregor should finish RDA early:

"I believe this will be another one that won’t see the end of the first round. If dos Anjos manages to survive the first exchange, he’ll become a panicked grappler. Should that happen, I’m looking forward to people getting an opportunity to see just how comfortable Conor is in that regard."

McGregor and Dos Anjos will tangle in the UFC 197 headliner on March 5th at the MGM in Vegas.