Monday 26 August 2019

Conor McGregor given green light to fight for a second UFC world title belt

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor floors Jose Aldo with a left-hook
Conor McGregor leaps to the top of the octagon in celebration after beating Jose Aldo
Conor McGregor shows off his UFC featherweight title belt
Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor shared this photo with girlfriend Dee Devlin at Christmas
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Conor McGregor will not have to surrender his UFC featherweight crown if he opts to move up a weight and fight for a second world title belt.

It was anticipated that McGregor would not be allowed to step up to 155lbs to try and become a two-weight world champion, but UFC chief Dana White has opened the door to that prospect.

UFC fighters tend to vacate world title belts when they move up a division, but White seems keen to explore the prospect of allowing McGregor to take on a hectic schedule in 2016.

"Conor has said that he would like to win the 155-pound belt and fight four times a year and defend both belts," stated White.

"If anybody can do it, Conor McGregor can. This guy has pretty done everything he said he would do. I'm interested.

"I would say if you're going to move up in weight, you have to give up the belt, but Conor has done everything he said he would do.

"He loves to fight. He really likes money, so if anybody could do it, it's probably him."

The lucrative appeal of McGregor following his sensational 13-second win against Jose Aldo in his world title fight last month means he now holds considerable power within the UFC.

That should allow him freedom to cash in on his huge popularity, which exploded throughout 2015 and will continue to grow ahead of his return to the ring later this year.

With more than one million followers on Twitter and a huge appeal that has been confirmed by sensational pay-per-view TV figures for his fight with Aldo in Las Vegas, McGregor is now the biggest draw in UFC.

That explains why White is so keen to do all he can to promote the new talisman of his organisation, with McGregor on course to become one of Ireland's richest sportsmen of all-time if he keeps on winning.

Meanwhile, White also confirmed that Holly Holm will not make the first defence of her world title crown against Ronda Rousey, who she beat in sensational fashion last November.

Rousey was eager for a quick rematch after losing her crown to a sensational knock-out, but Holm will have one fight before a potential second showdown with the fallen champion.

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