Former UFC Flyweight and current bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo coined the phrase “Triple C” after he became a 2 division champion inside the octagon the 3rd C he refers to is his Olympic gold medal for wrestling. Truly some high accolades and accomplishments for him, but it doesn’t exactly make him the “Triple C” that he thinks he is. The real “Triple C” will be the 1st man or woman to hold championship gold in 3 different weight classes in the octagon.
There is somebody out there who wants to be the 1st person to do it. When this person is motivated to chase something down, he has proven in the past that he will do whatever he must do to ascertain what he is in pursuit of, and that man’s name is Conor McGregor.
The former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion of the world who never defended either title that he earned inside the octagon, and was stripped of both for lack of willingness to defend them, has another gold belt in his sights, and no it isn’t the BMF title that was spoken into existence by Nate Diaz, and currently sits around the waist of Jorge Masvidal, but rather it’s the welterweight championship that currently resides with Kamaru Usman that has reignited the fire inside McGregor.
For months McGregor has been popping up on social media talking about how he is the real BMF and that Diaz and Masvidal fought for his belt. Making people focus on the possible matchup of McGregor versus Masvidal when that isn’t exactly what he is trying to accomplish. A perfectly played swerve that had us all misdirected about where McGregor is actually headed.
Even all the hubbub that he has made about wanting a rematch with Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is somewhat of a smokescreen. While he certainly wants to avenge that loss, there is a bigger task at hand for him that motivates him even more than getting that “W” back from Khabib, and that’s doing something that nobody has done before, something he truly gets hyped up about.
That something is becoming the 1st person to hold championship gold across 3 different divisions in the octagon. Nobody has done it before, and McGregor is looking to become the 1st to do it as he is going to pursue the welterweight championship with a fervor and frenzy that we haven’t seen from him in quite some time!
While he has made it clear that he wants to avenge that loss to Khabib and become the lightweight champion again, it seems to me that his real focus is on becoming the Welterweight champion of the world.
He spoke with “The Mac Life” about his intentions: “I like that welterweight title fight, I’d like to look at that. I’d like to look at Kamaru Usman. I’d like to look at Colby (Covington). I’m open to it all at 170… I want the gold. I’m after the gold, 155 (or) 170. They’re the belts I’m chasing now
By the way, I’m not the only person that sees where he is headed, the champ himself Usman is aware of it and issued a warning via Twitter to McGregor about his lofty aspirations: “My man @TheNotoriousMMA please just go in there and take your L from Cowboy. Don’t even dream of this WW strap because that dream can turn into a Nightmare fast”!
McGregor has proven to be a master of getting into the head of his opponents or his future opponents like nobody else before him. The mind games have already begun and even though his response was exactly what we would expect, make no mistake about it Usman is probably a tad bit concerned about Conor having him on his radar.
The concern isn’t about the possible fight, because I don’t think Usman is afraid of anybody. However, when McGregor wants something the UFC has proven over the years that McGregor will get any opportunity he wants and deservedly so in their eyes because he is truly a game-changer.
You don’t have to look far, or go back in time for evidence of McGregor getting what McGregor wants, he’s getting a lightweight title shot if he beats Donald Cerrone in two weeks at UFC 246 even though this bout is being contested at lightweight because McGregor didn’t wanna cut weight, how is that even right? It may not be right, but it is happening and Dana White has zero issue with it!
When McGregor was at his best it was because he was beyond motivated to take the world by storm. He chased down the greatest featherweight champion of all time in Jose Aldo and destroyed him in 13 seconds.
He then became the lightweight champion with relative ease when he dispatched of Eddie Alvarez to become the 1st fighter to simultaneously hold gold in 2 divisions, creating the “champ champ” era of the UFC single-handedly.
The McGregor that accomplished all of the things I mentioned above is somebody that everybody should be concerned with. He spoke into existence his vision of becoming a 2-way champ, and more importantly, he did it!
When he burst upon the scene I was one of the doubters. I didn’t buy into all the hype and shenanigans from him. However, he changed my mind when he became the 1st champ champ and then did something nobody thought was possible and took on Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match that made him rich beyond what anybody thought possible for a mixed martial artist. He alone changed the game and how it was played.
McGregor is a once in a generation athlete and personality and nobody can deny that. If he is as focused on becoming the 1st 3 division champion in the history of the octagon, and if that focus is like it was when he took over the UFC, then everybody should be concerned.
I don’t know if he can accomplish it, as he would definitely be the smaller athlete if he were to face Usman. He has been the smaller guy before including his fights against Diaz, Alvarez, and Aldo and we all know how those bouts ended.
McGregor is back. He is focused and has even made reference to how he disrespected his team, the sport and his fans in his last appearance in the octagon by not putting in the effort he once did to accomplish all that he has. He has recommitted himself to chasing down history and that makes him very dangerous.
If I have learned anything over the years when it comes to Conor McGregor, it’s that no one should ever doubt him when he says he’s going to do something. So don’t be surprised if some time this year we see him fighting for, and quite possibly becoming the welterweight championship of the world, I know I won’t be!
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.