UFC president Dana White has vowed that Conor McGregor will abandon one of his two UFC titles if McGregor achieves his dream of becoming a two-weight world champion by defeating lightweight beltholder Eddie Alvarez on Nov. 12 at UFC 205. McGregor, however, appears to have other plans.
"They're going to have to gather an army to try and take one of them (belts) off me, and that's out straight," McGregor said Tuesday at the raucous UFC 205 kickoff press conference in Madison Square Garden. "One's going to be there, one's going to be there, and I'm going to be picking and choosing who I want to destroy next. And that's it."
McGregor, 28, is currently the UFC featherweight champion, a title he earned by defeating longtime featherweight standout Jose Aldo in Dec. 2015 via 13-second knockout at UFC 194. A curious thing has happening since that victory though, as McGregor has ventured outside of the division for a pair of blockbuster fights against Nate Diaz, and now for a champion versus champion duel against Alvarez, all in pursuit of being the UFC's first simultaneous two-weight champion.
The goal is one that McGregor has spoken about since before he signed with the UFC. In his regional days, McGregor achieved that very feat in European promotion Cage Warriors, and his head coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh, has stated numerous times that lightweight is McGregor's optimal weight class. So after contesting both fights of the Diaz rivalry at welterweight, McGregor indicated that he was pleased to be back at a division more suited to his lighter frame.
"I'm very happy with the 155-pound weight limit," McGregor said. "I feel of all the divisions I've ran around and ran through, 155, I feel, will be the one where I take over the most. So, I look forward to that."
While the announcement of McGregor-Alvarez excited many within the mixed martial arts community, the UFC's decision to allow McGregor to keep his featherweight belt for his third straight fight outside of the division was met by its fair share detractors. The loudest of those detractors is Aldo, the current interim featherweight champion who announced Tuesday that he wanted the UFC to terminate his contract.
But as he has for months, McGregor dismissed Aldo when the proposition of a rematch with the legendary Brazilian was brought up at UFC 205's press conference. He then reiterated his intentions of holding two belts once the dust settled and Alvarez was in the rearview.
"I'm going to wrap one (belt) on one shoulder, and I'm going to wrap the other on the other shoulder, and they're going to need a f*cking army to come take them belts off me," McGregor said.
When asked about McGregor's claims, White declined to comment, only stating that "we'll figure that out when it happens."