McGregor returns to the octagon after two straight losses, but it looks increasingly likely that he will get a shot at Charles Oliveira’s lightweight belt regardless.
Conor McGregor is treated with “different rules” than everyone else in the UFC, according to former two-weight world champion Daniel Cormier.
The legendary ex-lightweight and featherweight champion is coming off two losses in 2021, but talks appear to be heating up for a fight between him and current titleholder Charles Oliveira.
McGregor is ranked No. 9 in the division and hasn’t won at 155 pounds since becoming champion in 2016 when he beat Eddie Alvarez.
He has since fought three times at the weight, losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 and then twice to Dustin Poirier last year.
But that hasn’t stopped him from insisting that when he returns from a broken leg later this year, he will get a shot at Oliveira’s belt.
And Cormier thinks it’s because McGregor has earned a special position in the sport because of his ability to draw the map.
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“Honestly, I really believe there are different rules regarding Conor,” Cormier told The Schmo.
“And people might not like him, people might hate him, but if he’s healthy and he starts tweeting and Oliveira responds to him and there’s fan interest, I can see a world where this happens.
“But again, that would upset so many people – at the end of the day, often it comes down to dollars and cents.”
McGregor has repeatedly stated that his return to the octagon will be against the Brazilian and noted that the previous two times he faced compatriots Oliveira he emerged victorious.
His fights with Diego Brandao in 2014 and Jose Aldo in 2015 were legendary as he both stopped in one round in front of swarms of Irish fans.
He returned from injury against Brandao in 2014 to a massive reception at Dublin’s 3Arena (then called The O2), on a night every Irish fighter had won under the card.
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And he was right on the former Ultimate Fighter winner, knocking him out to the delight of the 12,000 fans in attendance in five minutes.
His next outing against a Brazilian came at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in December 2015 when he won the featherweight world title from legendary champ Aldo.
For a decade, the featherweight champion had reigned supreme, seemingly unbeatable by all the top fighters in the division.
But in just 13 seconds, McGregor had taken the belt and much of his legacy from him, landing a pinpoint left hand that knocked Aldo out.
However, he has since struggled to stay consistent, losing his next fight to Nate Diaz before winning a rematch and then the belt from Alvarez.
After becoming a two-weight world champion, he faced legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather in a crossover fight that earned him over $100 million, and since then he has only won once against Donald ‘Cowboy. ‘Cerrone in 2020.