On Saturday night, featherweight world champion Conor McGregor will be doing the unthinkable of jumping up two weight classes to face Nate Diaz in a non-title welterweight bout at UFC 196.
The sudden change of plans came after lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos suddenly pulled out 11 days before fight night due to a broken foot.
Fighting 25 pounds above his original weight class does not seem to be an issue for McGregor and his team. In fact, his coach John Kavanaugh had already opened up the possibility of his fighter’s welterweight title run in 2017.
During his open workouts at the MGM Grand on Wednesday, "The Notorious" spoke in detail about the "leading option" and probable scenario of facing current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
"I like Robbie. I won't say a bad word about Robbie," McGregor said. "He fights with his heart. He's been around the game so, so long. But if we fought, I would beat Robbie. I'm too fast for him."
"The size difference is not anything. I've stood beside him. I've seen him."
McGregor was in the brink of conceivably making history of holding two world title belts simultaneously, had he emerged victorious against Dos Anjos after Saturday night. But even if those plans have been indefinitely put on hold, the ever-brash Irishman is already looking ahead towards a new goal: the 170-pound title belt.
"We'll see how that goes," McGregor said. "That is an appealing one for me, the welterweight [title]. All the belts. We'll see."