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Reasons why Conor McGregor’s rumored return as a UFC middleweight is bad news for rest of division

Conor McGregor, UFC

Conor McGregor is looking like he could make a move to the UFC’s middleweight division and it seems like it wouldn’t be a bad decision after all.

While still recovering from the devastating leg injury he sustained at UFC 264, Conor McGregor has decided to hit the gym and bulk up.

As expected, most fans were blown away, having seen McGregor’s swole body which he claims to be around “85 kg” of pure “muscle, no fat.”

McGregor’s incredible body transformation has got people buzzing about a move to the UFC’s middleweight division, something his longtime coach John Kavanagh had already joked about recently.

“He’s doing a lot of strength training at the moment,” Kavanagh said of McGregor. “The guy is jacked. I think he’s coming back as a middleweight.”

Interestingly, if Kavanagh was really serious about McGregor moving up to middleweight, it might not be a bad decision after all. And a few things can back it up.

First off, McGregor will not have to cut weight and could just focus on working on his power, an aspect of his game that according to his latest opponent Dustin Poirier is “still the same” as when he was at his prime.

At a comfortable weight, who knows what the Irish MMA star can do given he is undeniably a skilled fighter. Atop that, the middleweight division is not really the most competitive division in the UFC right now.  Barring the reigning champion Israel Adesanya, and former champion Chris Weidman, none of the ranked fighters in the 185-pound weight class have managed to be as successful as McGregor in terms of fights won.

At this point, nothing is concrete about McGregor’s real thoughts on the idea of moving up to the UFC’s middleweight division. The only thing certain is that his team has already been identifying the best opponent for his return.

According to Kavanagh, his fighter has a wide array options. But the main focus right now is speed up McGregor’s recovery and have him make his UFC return sooner rather than later.

“I’ll be honest, the Nate Diaz trilogy is very, very tempting. It’s a fight that gives me nightmares. The man doesn’t stop coming forward. Whether it’s three rounds or five rounds. But it’s an intriguing fight. So, that one is definitely very interesting,” Kavanagh stated. “But also the Tony Ferguson one. It never happened. It was talked about a lot. Tony still has, I believe, a lot to offer the game. He’s a very unorthodox striker, grappler. I think the build-up would be fun for the fans. So, you know, any of those kind of legacy guys.”

“But, look, that division is killer,” he added. “You know, Dan Hooker’s in there. The Islam (Makhachev) fight would be amazing as well, for obvious reasons. And we have, you know, whoever’s going to win this belt (Charles Oliveira or Dustin Poirier). So, you know, look, any of those names. I’m just excited to see Conor back.”

McGregor has not tasted a UFC victory since January of 2020 when he beat Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. Since then, the former UFC two-division king has only fought twice and lost both.