While promoting the upcoming rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202, Conor McGregor noted that he is "realistically" supposed to be a two division champion right now. He was originally set to challenge for UFC lightweight title, until then champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of the fight.
Diaz stepped in to replace him on short notice, and well, we all know how that ended for McGregor.
"Realistically I should be a two-weight UFC world champion," McGregor said the UFC 202 conference call. "If I fought Rafael dos Anjos, if he didn't pussy out of that last one and showed up, the shots I cracked Nate with in the first eight minutes would've KO'd Rafael dos Anjos stiff. That's no question."
"I would be sitting here right now as a two-weight world champion," he said. "But I don't dwell on that. I am happy that this happened, because it forced me to look at my preparation, look at the route I was going. It forced me to reassess"
"But make no mistake, this one means a hell of a lot to me. This one means more than any amount of gold or money combined."
"I gave up a hell of a lot of money. I gave up opportunities -- Hollywood opportunities -- for this contest," McGregor said, referencing a movie role on XXX which Michael Bisping ended up filling in for. "I wanted to restrict media. I want to solely focus on this, so that should tell you how much this fight means to me and I've been preparing accordingly."
Both original UFC 196 headliners in McGregor and Dos Anjos went on to lose their last bouts, with RDA dropping his title to Eddie Alvarez last month. While Dana White has assured Jose Aldo that McGregor would drop back down to defend his featherweight championship, a more likely scenario in many people's eyes would be for both Conor and Nate to continue their campaigns at lightweight after.