Conor McGregor reportedly wanted to fight for a third belt in UFC return 4 years ago

Conor McGregor reportedly wanted to fight for a third belt in UFC return

If the reports are true, Conor McGregor wanted to become a three-weight world champion in his next fight.

Conor McGregor announced on Instagram that he wanted to step into Frankie Edgar in UFC 222's main event. The spot became available after Max Holloway sustained a leg injury in training camp for his second featherweight title defence.

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Considering how drained McGregor looked making 153 lbs for the Floyd Mayweather fight, it was doubtful that the Dubliner would make a return to 145 lbs to fight 'the Answer'. Then the rumours started emerging that he wanted to fight Edgar for the 165 lb belt. At the time of writing, that division did not exist in the UFC.

In a recent appearance on the MMA Hour, Edgar admitted that the first time he heard the news was on Twitter. When he woke up from a nap, he found the link to the Instagram post on his timeline.

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A new weight class?

Edgar explained that his manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz was in contact with the UFC over the rumoured McGregor bout. Edgar would have been up for it at any weight class. However, he is sceptical about how close that fight was to actually being booked.

"Ali (Abdel-Aziz) said that they asked about Conor and they said Conor's not even fighting for his own belt. I didn't even know this. You know Ali. Of course, I would have. Why wouldn't I want to fight that guy? They said he's not even fighting in his own weight class. They said, 'Why would he even want to fight in any other weight class?' I would have fought him in any weight class."

"Come on, there is no 165 lb belt. I want to fight on the moon. You know what I mean?"

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Newsmaker

Edgar suspects that McGregor's ulterior motive for sending that post was simply to make headlines. He praised the UFC lightweight champion for his ability to stay relevant, although he didn't allow the news to distract him.

"I think Conor's just being Conor. He's the best at staying in the news and keeping relevant and stay in the news cycle. He does it better than everybody except maybe Floyd Mayweather. Maybe even better."

"I'm not surprised by it and I'm not getting sidetracked by it. It's non-news to me. The news is I'm fighting a guy in the UFC right now - Brian Ortega. It's easy to get sidetracked by that, but I just think he's trying to stay in the news. He's smart, he's great at it. He accomplished it."

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One of the positives that came out of these rumblings was the hype generated for Edgar's next fight against undefeated 145 lber Brian Ortega. The Toms River native believes the McGregor link brought more attention to the fight.

"By the same token, my name's in the news a little bit more now too. He's putting my name on his Instagram post, so that can't hurt me anyway."

"I think if it was real, Dana would have called me personally. He's done that before, but he didn't. So I have to think that it wasn't real."

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UFC 222 goes down in the T-Mobile Arena on March. Edgar vs Ortega will provide the co-main event. The featherweights will provide the support act for Cyborg's women's featherweight title defence against promotional newcomer Yana Kunitskaya.