Despite the fact Conor McGregor captured the UFC lightweight title with a historic performance less than three months ago, an interim UFC strap will be up for grabs when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson face off in a lightweight showdown on March 4 at UFC 209. And according to McGregor, who remains the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion, the promotion never once consulted him about the decision.
“Not a whisper about that one,” McGregor said Saturday during an hour-long interview in Manchester. “But business is business. You’ve got to create (attention), because the two guys who are fighting for that interim belt are bums. I always look at the game, the fight game in the UFC, and sometimes I wonder to myself why it’s never broken through to that next level, why no one before me has ever gotten to that next level. Because they’re all dogsh*t.
“They’re sloppy, messy, chinny. It’s not pretty to look at, and it’s the same with these two clowns. Two bums fighting for an interim belt. They should be very happy that I’m chilling now, taking a break, and they have this little chance to think that they’re up there. But in reality, they’re nowhere close. They both would be knocked out stiff. Both chinny, both wild, too sloppy.”
McGregor is expected to take the first quarter of 2017 off from fighting due to the birth of his first son. All signs pointed to McGregor then defending his UFC lightweight title against the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson once he returned, however that now seems like far less of a lock than was once believed.
The outspoken Irishman spoke adamantly and repeatedly on Saturday about his desire to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match as his next fight. And even when McGregor was asked to look inward towards his UFC prospects, he saw much more available on the horizon than just Nurmagomedov and Ferguson.
“F*ck them all. F*ck every one of them,” McGregor said. “Did you see Anderson (Silva)? What’s Anderson talking about? What the f*ck is Anderson Silva going about? He keeps mentioning my name over and over again. Look, I’ll fight any one of them. Make sure the numbers are right. Make sure the situation is right. I’ll fight any one of them at any given time. We’ve got the Floyd situation lined up, but there’s many of them that are there.
“We’ve got the featherweight situation, the lightweight situation, the welterweight situation — that’s a real situation also. I’m going to slap that fool (Tyron Woodley) around. I will go in and slap that fool around the Octagon and take that third belt, no problem. That’s a real situation. Anderson, f*cking who else? I don’t know who else. All of them.”
While there are countless hurdles to overcome for a Mayweather vs. McGregor superfight, and despite the fact that UFC president Dana White threw cold water all over the notion of the Mayweather bout on Saturday night, McGregor said he expected the blockbuster fight to take place sometime near the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018. He explained that only then, after the Mayweather fight, would he turn his attention back to the UFC — although McGregor also noted that much could happen over the coming months to change his plans .
“Listen, whatever, I’m chilling right now,” McGregor said. “I have my eyes on one thing, and that’s Floyd Mayweather. That’s the thing I have my eyes on.”