LAS VEGAS -- Conor McGregor is the featherweight champion. Yet, he may never fight in the featherweight division again.
UFC president Dana White said Friday night at the EA Sports UFC 2 launch party that there is a possibility that McGregor will never return to 145 pounds if he beats Nate Diaz in spectacular fashion at UFC 196 on Saturday night here.
"I think if he wins impressively [Saturday], he doesn't even go back to 45," White said at Mandalay Bay's Light nightclub. "That's what I think. That weight cut is horrible for him. He looks terrible. I'm sure he feels terrible. I think he stays at 170 if he wins tomorrow."
McGregor looked healthy and strong at weigh-ins Friday, because he's fighting Diaz at welterweight. McGregor weighed 168 on the scale. Normally, when he cuts to 145, McGregor looks sucked in, dehydrated and just miserable all around. It takes a toll on his mind and body.
At open workouts on Wednesday, McGregor said he could and would go back to featherweight, but he doesn't seem to be in love with the options that are there right now, including the likes of Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo.
"I can go back to 145 no problem," McGregor said. "Who is there, though? Let me see some of these damn bums get up and fight and make some noise. I just hear crying, complaining, please, begging -- all this sh*t. I don't see nothing appealing. They need to build themselves up right now. I'm sitting pretty. I'm sitting up here. They need to fight and make some noise, make me stand up and sy, OK, I'll take him on. That's what I need to see, because right now I see a bunch of complainers, whiners."
McGregor (19-2) could very well challenge Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title next and White said he would not stand in his way. It's also possible he would revisit a lightweight title fight with Rafael dos Anjos, who pulled from the McGregor fight this weekend with a broken foot. No one has ever held two UFC belts in separate divisions at the same time and that's what McGregor wants to do.
If "The Notorious" does decide to leave featherweight for good, there's that little matter of his belt. White said he would have to give it up, of course.
"That would be a non-issue if he doesn't go back and he understands that," White said. "Listen, when you're dealing with Conor McGregor, he's a smart guy. He gets business. He's not unreasonable about anything and he will fight anybody, anywhere at any time. How can anybody have a problem with that?
"When you're dealing with super talented people, they're always going to be quirky and different in their own ways. But no matter what you are, when you act and fight and step up for anything the way Conor does, you can't deny the kid."
Another thing McGregor has said this week that seems a bit off the wall is the desire to make his own belt and then decide what weight to challenge it at depending on the opponent. White was asked about this Friday night. He doesn't seem to be in favor of the idea, but he clearly loves the attitude.
"Conor is a unique individual, who is different than anybody we've seen in the business," White said. "That kid makes being a fan of fighting fun. It's fun. There's times when you have guys that are unreasonable and just make dumb choices and don't want to fight anybody or want to fight once or twice a year. Why would you have a problem with anything Conor does?"