Welterweight champ refuses to be drawn on the prospect of facing McGregor

Robbie Lawler: “Whoever the UFC puts in front of me, I’m going to go and try to take out.”

UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Image: John Locher

HE HASN’T FOUGHT for the lightweight belt yet but the possibility of Conor McGregor challenging for the UFC’s welterweight title is one of the hot topics in the world of mixed martial arts at the moment.

There’s been speculation about a move up to the 170lbs division for McGregor since his coach John Kavanagh mentioned it recently in his exclusive The42 column.

McGregor added fuel to the fire last night when he spoke to Severe MMA: “I’ll keep going, keep eating, keep training and keep going until all the fucking belts are wrapped up,” said McGregor, when asked about a move to welterweight.

The 27-year-old Irishman defeated Jose Aldo in December to win the UFC’s featherweight (145lbs) title. Should he overcome lightweight (155lbs) champion Rafael dos Anjos on 5 March, McGregor will become the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously.

However, he may not be content to leave it at that, as speculation mounts over a potential meeting with UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 200 in Las Vegas on 9 July.

Lawler, the second-longest reigning title-holder in the UFC at present, was a guest on ‘UFC Tonight’ on FOX Sports last night and he was put on the spot regarding the issue by co-host and UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

“Conor said he may go up to 170 [pounds]. He is not ashamed to say what he wants to say. If he does come up to 170 — take off the muzzle, Robert Glenn — is he biting off more than he can chew? Robbie, will you smash Conor McGregor if he goes to 170?” Cormier asked.

But Lawler issued a typically evasive response: “I’m going to concentrate on myself. You know how I fight; I just go out there, try to take people’s heads off and finish people. Whoever the UFC puts in front of me, I’m going to go and try to take out.”

If a welterweight title shot is in McGregor’s sights, however, he’ll first need to dethrone a Brazilian champion for the second time in just three months. His clash with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 in Las Vegas is now just 16 days away.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!


UFC postpones former champ BJ Penn’s comeback following sexual assault allegations

Conor McGregor dismisses rumours of a UFC rift as ‘horses**t’

About the author:

Paul Dollery

Read next: