Conor McGregor will have plenty on his plate against Jose Aldo in July. But another fight on his mind is one against another champion: Anthony Pettis.
The rising UFC featherweight says that moving up to lightweight is highly likely down the road. And a bout there with Pettis, the titleholder, strikes his fancy.
"I think it would be a great fight," McGregor said during a media scrum at UFC 183. "Definitely, 155 is in my future. Anthony is phenomenal on the feet. He's got good jiu-jitsu. I feel it would be a great fight. It's a fight I have my eyes on."
McGregor (17-2) challenges Aldo at UFC 189 on July 11 in Las Vegas. But he admits that cutting to 145 pounds is difficult and he doesn't know for how long he'll want to do it. The Irishman said during the fan Q&A before UFC 183 weigh-ins that he and Pettis are "around a similar size." Pettis is 5-foot-10, one inch taller than McGregor.
"As I grow, 155 will be more comfortable to get to," McGregor said. "It'll be less stress on the body."
"The Notorious" doesn't think he'll be at a disadvantage there, either. He trains at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin with UFC 170-pounders Gunnar Nelson and Cathal Pendred and does not believe he gives up a thing.
"I have no problem going right up to welterweight to be honest," said McGregor, who is coming off a second-round TKO win over Dennis Siver on Jan. 18 in Boston. "We'll see. I am young. I am 26 years old. We'll see what opportunities present themselves."
Win or lose against Aldo, McGregor has plenty of marketable fights in the featherweight division, against the likes of Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes and Cub Swanson. Truly, 145 is one of the deepest weight classes in all of MMA.
With that said, McGregor has said several times that his career strategy is to make as much money as quickly as he can and get out. If that means moving through the weight classes for big fights that fans want to see, McGregor will clearly be open to that.
Everything will depend on how McGregor, one of the fastest growing stars in UFC history, will fair against Aldo, who has not lost in nine years. If there's one thing about the fast-talking, charismatic Irishman, he doesn't lack any confidence.
"I'm gonna sprint straight for him," McGregor said of Aldo. "I won't give him a second. I'm gonna go in with my hands raised. I'm gonna be talking to him while I'm whooping him at the same time, the same way I do to them all.
"I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna break him. I'm gonna be on top of him from the bell. I will break Jose Aldo."