Conor McGregor: The Two Belt Champ

Conor McGregor: The Two Belt Champ

Sam Hopkins, Sports Editor

The 5’9” 155lb assassin runs around the octagon in a crazed state. 18,200 people sitting in the jam packed venue of Madison Square Garden look down into the cage in shock, awe, and disbelief. The Notorious Conor McGregor has claimed yet another victim, Eddie Alvarez, and now holds two UFC title belts at two different weight classes. The Notorious One has just made history.

Winning one UFC title belt is a big deal. Winning two at different weight divisions is unheard of. Conor McGregor, from Dublin, Ireland, has taken the UFC by storm and has claimed many victims inside the octagon. In McGregor’s short stint in the UFC, he has created quite the following.

McGregor burst on to the scene in 2013 and made a statement by defeating his first opponent, Marcus Brimage, on a preliminary card by technical knock out (TKO) in just over one minute’s time. This first victory was just the beginning for the Irishman.

McGregor has gone on to be one of the most active fighters in the UFC company, compiling a 21-3 record in three short years. The fight that brought McGregor out of the shadows and into the spotlight was a title fight at the featherweight division against Jose Aldo. This fight is where McGregor gained his superhero-like status after defeating the defending champ by way of knock-out (KO) in a mere 13 seconds.

With the win of the title belt, McGregor grew in fame, confidence, and ego. He was now a UFC Champion and wasn’t afraid to let people know about it. Over the past year, McGregor has risen through the rankings in multiple weight divisions and has become a fan favorite.  McGregor embodies everything that the fighting community is known for: arrogance, a winning attitude, and swagger.

With numerous wins in the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions, the question of who could defeat this cold blooded killer arises. Is the Notorious One the best in the fight game?

Personally, I think that the answer is yes. In 2015 McGregor was ranked as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. McGregor has shown that anyone that matches up with the same credentials at the welterweight division is no match. The Notorious One has made quick work of every opponent that is near the same height, weight, and reach.

McGregor has also proven himself amongst the big boys. After falling to 160-pounder Nate Diaz in the third loss of his career, McGregor sought out Diaz the next day, challenging a rematch. Although McGregor weighed in fifteen pounds lighter than Diaz, he finished the job in their rematch by way of judges’ decision. I listened to that fight being live streamed and found it insane that someone lacking in size, strength, and reach was able to take out an opponent in a good old fashioned fist fight.

I believe that Conor McGregor can hang with almost any current fighter in the UFC. He is the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold titles in two different divisions.

Although McGregor is skilled in the arts of Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and Taekwondo, his biggest advantage may be found outside of the octagon. Psychologically, he is able to defeat his opponents before they even step foot onto the mat. In his three latest press conferences, fights have almost broken out due to the slanderous and hateful shots McGregor has taken at his opponents.  No wonder McGregor is known as a lightning rod for controversy.

With strengths both inside and outside of the octagon, Conor McGregor is a force to be reckoned with. Now that he’s a two division titleholder, who will step in his way? Many, including myself, think the most logical answer is boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. One thing I’m certain of is that both fighters will be up to challenge with their immense confidence and egocentric ways.

After McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez this past weekend, he said in his post-fight interview that “the two weight champ does whatever he wants”. The ball is now in his court. Does he want to take on Mayweather? I’d bet fighting fans everywhere would like to see that matchup.