Conor McGregor will make his long awaited return to the cage against Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, but many fans can’t wrap their heads around the weight class at which the fight will be contested.
McGregor has spent the majority of his career competing at featherweight and lightweight, but the former UFC two division champion will fight Cerrone at welterweight, where he is 1-1 with Nate Diaz.
This had led some to speculate that McGregor is eyeing a future ‘BMF’ title fight with top-three welterweight Jorge Masvidal, but Joe Rogan believes there’s a much simpler explanation: Conor is sick of cutting weight.
Speaking on a recent edition of the JRE MMA Show, podcast host Rogan said McGregor is fighting ‘Cowboy’ at 170 because he ‘tortured himself’ to make 145 in the past and his body can no longer endure the abuse.
“Because Conor doesn’t want to lose any weight,” Rogan said, per MMA Fighting. “I think that guy tortured himself to get down to 145 so hard - and when you look at what he looked like when he was on the scale, when he was flexing, he looked like a god damn zombie. It was horrible. So I think, whether he complains or not about that, nobody rides for free. You do that to your body for a couple of years, you do some damage and it makes it harder to lose the weight afterwards.
“So then he’s going up to 155. He’s obviously elite at 155, wins the title at 155, has the great rematch with Diaz at 170 and then comes back and fights Khabib at 155 and gets mauled. He has a fight with Cowboy, he’s really a 55er that can fight welterweight. That’s the right size for him versus, I don’t think Nate is fighting 155 any time in the future anymore.”
Speaking of the matchup, Rogan said he expects a great fight on Jan. 18.
“Look, it’s gonna be f*cking great,” Rogan said. “Whether you watch it on TV or you watch it live, it’s gonna be f*cking great. And if Conor can catch him early, it could be very interesting... [But] if Cowboy can use his distance - and he’s very good at doing it - and he can avoid that straight left because Conor’s got a piston of a left hand.”
UFC 246, which is expected to feature McGregor vs. Cowboy as the main event, is scheduled to take place next month, January 18 at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.