"We're not here to take part, we're here to take over," Conor McGregor announced after his first round TKO of Diego Brandao at UFC Dublin. And, so far, it seems as though the Irishman may be calling some of the shots in the UFC.
New UFC 196 poster now has McGregor's belt on it
A new UFC 196 poster has been released, and Conor McGregor got what he wanted.
"The Notorious" demanded a shot at the lightweight championship after capturing the featherweight title in record-setting time -- 13 seconds -- at UFC 194. The UFC obliged and booked McGregor against LW champ Rafael dos Anjos for March 5th, leaving #1 FW contender Frankie Edgar sitting on the sidelines.
At the UFC 197 press conference, however, the 28-year-old wasn't happy with the promotional poster which omitted his featherweight belt. "Where is my damn belt?" McGregor asked during the press conference. "Where are all these historic images? These are posters that will be looked back on long after it's all said and done and you've got to look back on that absolute garbage."
UFC president Dana White looked notably uncomfortable during McGregor's exchange and responded by saying that the belt wasn't included because the 27-year-old is moving up to challenge for the 155 lbs. title. However, that didn't stop the promotion from marketing B.J. Penn vs. Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94 as a champion vs. champion superfight with both belts included on the poster.
After UFC 197 was rescheduled for UFC 196, a different marketing strategy was employed. The official poster now features both belts and is headlined with "champion vs champion".
White admitted in an interview that McGregor was right to demand a poster change during his guest appearance on the Grant and Danny show on Thursday (h/t Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting).
"Conor made his argument, 'This is a superfight. I'm a -pound champion. He's the -pound champion. My belt should be represented even though I'm not defending my belt.'
"And I said, 'You know what? You're right, Conor. All right, we'll do it," White recalls.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor will headline the UFC 196 pay-per-view on March 5th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and is now being hyped as a champ vs champ superfight.
"We actually switched the poster and they've both got their belts and it's champion vs. champion," said White. "It's a superfight: 45 vs. 55 for the 55-pound title."