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Morning Report: Joe Rogan warns Conor McGregor about calling out Kamaru Usman: ‘Be careful what you ask for’

UFC 272: Covington v Masvidal Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Conor McGregor has always pursued big fights, but UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes “Notorious” might want to reconsider his latest callout.

McGregor is currently on the sidelines, recovering from the shattered leg he suffered in his fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, but with the one-time double champ targeting a summer return, the talk has turned towards who McGregor will face when he does come back. Previously, McGregor was targeting a lightweight title shot upon his return, however, after putting on some size during his recovery, McGregor recently said he is “eyeballing” coming back as a welterweight, and has his sights set on UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. But Rogan cautions that this may be a bridge too far for the champ-champ.

“Now he’s talking about fighting Kamaru Usman. Be careful what you ask for,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “Be careful what you ask for. Usman is a big man and he’s top of the food chain right now. That’s the best pound-for-pound fighter alive, Kamaru Usman, and he’s a natural 170. You’ve got to remember, Conor McGregor won the title at 145 and then he went up to 155 and knocked out Eddie Alvarez to become the champ-champ... Then he fought at 170 but he fought Cowboy Cerrone who is a natural 155 pounder. No knock on Cowboy, Cowboy’s beat a lot of good 170 pounders, he’s an elite fighter, but Usman’s a different thing. That’s a different peak. There’s no oxygen at the top of that mountain. That’s as good as it gets ever at 170.

“I would put Kamaru Usman up against any 170-pound fighter that’s ever lived. I’m not saying that he would beat Georges St-Pierre, I’m not saying he would beat all of them, but he might beat all of them. He might be the best that’s ever been at 170. He’s as good as they get. He’s got ferocious knockout power, he’s elite at wrestling, nobody puts him on his back... And he’s still getting better. He’s still getting better.”

Usman is currently in the middle of one of the greatest runs in UFC history. The welterweight champion is 14-0 in the promotion with five successful title defenses under his belt. Most recently, Usman won a unanimous decision over Colby Covington in their rematch at UFC 268.

McGregor, meanwhile, is on the worst run of his career. After claiming the lightweight title in 2016 to become the UFC’s first ever simultaneous two-division champion, McGregor has struggled to recapture his top form, losing three of his next four bouts, all by stoppage. Given the turns their careers have taken, an Usman fight is a tough proposition for McGregor at this stage.

“The strength of the mind is so important,” Rogan said. “The ability to overcome, the ability to figure out what to do in times of peril, when things go sideways, how do you adjust? What decisions do you make? Whether you have any give up in you? Some people have a little give up in them, you just have to find, what’s that threshold? And people have made Conor give up. He’s tapped. Nobody’s made Usman tap except one time. The second fight of his career he got caught in a rear-naked choke and he got tapped out. But he was new... Since then, he’s smashed everybody.”

For now, the fight remains purely a hypothetical. Though Usman has previously shown some inclination towards a fight with McGregor based on the interest it would draw, “The Nigerian Nightmare” already has his next opponent lined up, a rematch with MMA Fighting’s No. 3-ranked welterweight, Leon Edwards.


Arrested. Jorge Masvidal arrested on aggravated battery, criminal mischief charges following alleged assault on Colby Covington.

Arrested. Conor McGregor arrested, vehicle seized on dangerous driving charges in Ireland.

Contract. Paddy Pimblett hopes for contract renegotiation with UFC: ‘I proved how much I’m worth the other night’.

Confidence. Khamzat Chimaev says it’ll be easier to smash ‘zero wrestling’ Israel Adesanya than Kamaru Usman: ‘I’ll squeeze his head off’.

Commentary. Daniel Cormier weighs in on alleged Colby Covington-Jorge Masvidal altercation: ‘Colby Covington’s not a street guy’.


The MMA Hour.

Top UFC Columbus fighters.

The rise of Kai Kara-France.

Aljamain Sterling getting ready for his rematch with Petr Yan.

Arnold Allen breaking down his fight with Dan Hooker.


Escape from Kyiv. The PFL’s Olena Koleznyk tells her story of fleeing Kyiv to Las Vegas.



Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor.

Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal.

Logan Storley.

Good deeds.


Michael Page (20-1) vs. Logan Storley (13-1); Bellator 281, May 13.

Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-5) vs. Michel Pereira (27-11); UFC Fight Night, May 21.

Benson Henderson (29-11) vs. Peter Queally (13-6-1); Bellator Dublin, Sep. 23.


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