'We don't have to flirt like we're in high school. Let's just scrap'
"I've got a big buzz going on because I'm known to put people to sleep."
One UFC fight in 33 months, yet Conor McGregor continues to be called out by most of the male roster. From flyweight [125lbs] champion Henry Cejudo all the way up to former middleweight [185lbs] kingpin Georges St-Pierre, it does no fighter any harm to be linked to 'The Notorious'.
McGregor is, according to UFC president, getting fight ready just in case lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or challenger Dustin Poirier fail to make it to The Octagon, in September, for UFC 242.
Should both men make it to that main event, McGregor will be watching closely. A Poirier upset victory would see McGregor push for his first title defence. A win for Nurmagomedov would, most likely, force McGregor to take on a highly ranked lightweight contender before the year is out. Madison Square Garden stands ready and waiting to host the Dubliner at UFC 244 in November.
McGregor was crowned feather- and lightweight 'Champ Champ' at MSG, in November 2016, and it would be a fitting stage for him to mark his latest MMA return [he has not fought since UFC 229 in October 2018].
One interesting road the 31-year-old could go down would be a fight against Jorge Masvidal. In the fight game, knock-outs get you attention and excite the fans [avid and casual]. That is exactly what Masvidal has been doing, of late.
The 34-year-old from Florida is pushing for either a welterweight title fight or a crack at McGregor next time out, in what would be his 48th professional MMA bout. Masvidal was steaming towards a 170lbs title shot in May 2017 until he lost to Demian Maia. That and a subsequent defeat to Stephen Thompson slowed his momentum and he did not fight at all in 2018.
He returned in March 2019 to derail the Darren Till hype train with a devastating knock-out and then sparked Ben Askren inside five seconds - connecting with a flying knee - at UFC 239. He has been tossing out McGregor's name since then, even though 'The Notorious' has not fought at that weight since his back-to-back knocks with Nate Diaz in 2016.
McGregor is convinced he could give Jorge Masvidal a good run. White already dismissed the notion and revealed to reporters, after UFC 240, that McGregor was none too pleased about that.
"Yeah, Masvidal's too big for him, man," said White. "I think Masvidal is too big, Conor disagrees. Conor was not happy that I said Masvidal was too big for him."
Masvidal, for his part, is banging the McGregor drum as loud as he can. Very respectfully, he told TMZ:
"Very quickly, because whether Conor takes the fight or not - people do be putting words in his mouth and particularly my mouth - I've got good things to say about him. He's done a lot for this sport and he's made his money already. And if feels he is not getting the money he deserves to come back, I'm the first to applaud him on that. Do your thing brother... if he feels he's not getting his money's worth, I'm not ever going to call him a p***y for that."
Masvidal added, "Secondly, if Conor does want to come back and wants someone to stand with him and give him the sort of fights that he likes, look no further my brother! Let's not flirt with each other.
"I've got a big buzz going on because I'm known to put people to sleep. You've got a huge buzz because you put people to sleep. Let's do this. We don't have to flirt like we're in high school. Let's just scrap if we're going to scrap."
Masvidal has competed at lightweight before but says he is 'a natural 170-pounder', while McGregor, he feels, looks his best in the lightweight division.
The fight is there if McGregor wants it but Masvidal says he will ultimately get his hand raised in victory. The Floridian says he would be the perfect motivation for McGregor to train and work hard because there is only one thing he is going for if they face each other - 'The OFF button'.
"If you want this fight here," he declared, "I'm right here. Let's get it f***ing cracking."
Cerrone, Gaethje, Pettis, Masvidal or Diaz.
If McGregor does not get the winner of UFC 242, there are certainly a stack of exciting options. McGregor Masvidal would be a cracker.