While the world’s largest MMA promotion returns after nearly two months away this weekend — forced by the coronavirus pandemic — the sport’s biggest star is eyeing his own return. Conor McGregor is reportedly looking at a July date. He’s also frankly livid over the latest official rankings.
In a since-deleted tweet on his official (verified) twitter account, McGregor took umbrage over finding Dustin Poirier sitting above him in the rankings.
“How is the pea ahead of me in rankings? I sparked him in 90 seconds,” complained the former double-champion. “Went further against most recent foe, plus took a round. After two year lawoff partying and or in jail/court. What a weight little game you guys play. I’ll bide my time for now but watch this space. All bums.”
McGregor currently sits at #3 in the standings, while Poirier, who lost to champ Khabib Nurmagomedov last September after winning an interim belt earlier in 2019, is ranked #2. McGregor does hold a win over “The Diamond,” from back in 2014. The #1 ranked fighter in the division is Tony Ferguson (champions, i.e. Nurmagomedov, are not ranked), who fights Justin Gaethje this weekend.
McGregor (22-4) last fought in January, taking all of forty seconds to finish Cowboy Cerrone in a welterweight contest. According to his manager, Audie Attar, who spoke to EPSN this week, the Irish star is keeping his eye on UFC 249, seeing it as a trial run in terms of safety during a global pandemic.
“While Conor’s desire would be to fight in front of another sold-out crowd,” Attar told the website, “he does understand what him fighting in an empty arena could do for people at home and would consider if he is comfortable with the way the UFC is holding these events from a health and safety standpoint.”
That said, while McGregor is considering a July date (a timeframe rumored before the pandemic hit), he’s looking for assurances that all involved in the upcoming trio of UFC events in Jacksonville come out of their fights unscathed. At least in terms of COVID-19.