Conor McGregor's next match-up is unprecedented, and some say, completely unfair.
Previously, if a UFC champion wanted to change weight classes, they would have to vacate their title first. McGregor has seemingly gotten an exception from the UFC though, and will be allowed to fight for the Lightweight title, while maintaining his status as Featherweight champion.
That's a problem for Frankie Edgar, who was all but promised a shot at the winner of Aldo vs. McGregor last year. Now, he'll just have to wait and see what happens with Conor McGregor's venture into a higher weight class.
That seems very unfair to Edgar, but McGregor apparently hasn't forgotten him.
McGregor's coach has recently issued a statement on the matter, promising that Edgar will get his shot. When? Quite possibly at UFC 200 in July.
The elephant in the room in this situation, of course, has been Frankie Edgar. If Conor’s next fight was announced as being against Frankie, there would be a lot of complaints about him cutting too much weight and being too big for the rest of the 145lbs guys. People would also claim that he was running from Rafael dos Anjos.
Instead, they’ll say he should be staying at featherweight and that he’s afraid of Frankie. But as I’ve said many times before, it’s great that questions are being asked because answering them is what sport is all about. The day there are no more questions being asked of you is the day you’re no longer relevant.
No matter who Conor’s next opponent was going to be, people would complain. There’s no getting away from that. There are boxes to be ticked and, by the time Conor retires, he’ll have addressed them all. But they can’t all be done at the drop of a hat. We can only take it one at a time. Rafael dos Anjos is next. After that, maybe Frankie Edgar will get his chance at UFC 200 on 9 July. We’ll see.
And if McGregor manages to beat both Rafael dos Anjos and Frankie Edgar, what's next for him. McGregor's coach isn't ruling out another weight class move... this time to Welterweight.
I think people will be surprised too when they see him standing beside these guys and they realise that even at lightweight, Conor is a pretty big guy.
And maybe the pursuit of belts won’t stop there either. I’ve said from the beginning that welterweight may not be out of the question. One of Conor’s main sparring partners, Gunnar Nelson, is a welterweight, so Conor is very used to that feel. I would not be at all surprised if we’re preparing to go for a third belt a year from now.