UFC legend Dan Hardy believes Conor McGregor will be eyeing a move up to welterweight in order to become a two-division champion again.
McGregor became the first fighter ever to hold double UFC belts at the same time, as he added the lightweight crown to his featherweight strap in 2016.
Conor McGregor in 2016 with featherweight and lightweight titles Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Dan Hardy believes Conor McGregor could move up in weight
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But without defending either, Hardy believes the Irishman will be desperate to have a lengthy reign as he returns to lightweight.
And, the retired fighter turned UFC analyst thinks McGregor will be also be planning a move up to welterweight in the future also to replicate his success over two divisions.
Hardy told Seconds Out: “I would say he wants a couple of title defences.
“I’d say he wants the 170-pound belt as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if he wants to hold two belts simultaneously as well.
“Obviously, it’s not going to be 145, I can certainly see him going after the 155 belt and maybe up to 170 and then settling for a BMF title shot against (Jorge) Masvidal.
“There’s lots of things that McGregor can do in the game and none of them are about money.”
McGregor has fought three times at welterweight, with a pair of classics with Nate Diaz in 2016 and then a 40 second finish of Donald Cerrone last year.
He has talked up the possibility of challenging for Kamaru Usman’s title before, as well as the ‘Baddest Mother F***er’ belt Masivdal won against Diaz in 2019.
No UFC fighter has ever won titles in three different weights, opening for the door for McGregor to make history yet again.
But first, he makes his UFC return on Saturday, rematching Dustin Poirier – who he beat in 2014 – as the 32-year-old pair headline on Fight Island.
And he does so with the lightweight title well within his reach, with Khabib Nurmagomedov considering his future.
Nurmagomedov, 32, retired in October, but will make a return should a contender convince him to do so.
As a result, the Russian has kept the 155lb belt, meaning McGregor will fight at lightweight without the title being on the line for the first time in the UFC.
Hardy said: “This is the third time he’s fighting at 155, and every single fight has been for a title.
“This is the first time that it’s not. That just shows you the kind of person he is and the kind of opportunities he creates.
“McGregor doesn’t have to earn his stripes quite like everybody else does so that’s slightly different.
“And, I think that might hang over him cause that allows him to leapfrog people and somewhat bypass some of the records he’d probably like.”
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