McGregor hasn’t been in action since July 2021. While he’d have hoped to climb back to the top of the lightweight division and perhaps have gold around his waist entering 2022, he was instead flung to the sidelines courtesy of a brutal broken leg at UFC 264.
The injury marked his second defeat of the year, his second consecutive setback to Dustin Poirier, and his second TKO loss in six months. Understandably, that form has left many wondering whether we’ve seen the last of the Irishman at his best inside the cage.
Nevertheless, McGregor seems as committed as ever and firmly on his road back to fighting. Having consistently updated fans on his recovery via social media, the former two-division champion is evidently nearing the end of his recovery and preparing to return to full MMA sparring.
But with talk of his return rising to the surface, there’s one question still unanswered.
Sonnen Tells McGregor To “Pick A Division”
Over the course of his incredibly successful career in the sport, McGregor has reached the mountaintop of both the featherweight and lightweight divisions in the UFC, and had success at welterweight. That variety, coupled with his potential opponents and apparent bulked physique, has left some wondering what weight the “Notorious” megastar will step on the scale at next time out.
“Nate Diaz’s last fight, you’ve got something special that deserves to be done just right,” said Sonnen. “Poirier vs. Conor works, I understand that but part four is a little weird. Particularly when two and three didn’t have a single round won by Conor. It was very uncompetitive.”
But before considering which name is more likely and who we could see McGregor share the Octagon with next, Sonnen said the Irishman has to provide clarity on which weight class he’ll return in.
“Conor’s got to give us a little more info too, he’s putting pictures out, he’s 190 pounds. Is he planning on stopping by 170? Is he planning on going back to 155? It just depends on the day that you talk to him.
“Conor has been for a meaningful period of time and will live the rest of his career on the same unique spot that he monopolies. Which is, whatever he does, is going to work,” Sonnen added. “Does Conor have the same pursuit of getting back to a world championship? If that answer is yes, he has to pick a division.” (h/t Pundit Arena)
While McGregor has consistently pursued a title fight at 155 pounds, especially following Charles Oliveira’s victory over Poirier at UFC 269, his social media posts have suggested a potential return to welterweight could be the leading option.
One post, described by the likes of Joe Rogan as deceptive, showed a McGregor who’s packed on a significant amount of muscle. With his previous interactions with Kamaru Usman and a positive record at the weight, perhaps a 170-pound McGregor will be returning to action later this year.
While his return weight may still be up in the air, McGregor has once again confirmed his intention to make a comeback following his gruesome injury last year. In a recent upload, the Irishman promised to put the Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey back on the shelf and immerse himself fully in training in the coming months.
It remains to be seen if that’ll be enough to bring back the “Notorious” fighter of old.
Do you think Conor McGregor can make a successful comeback to the Octagon this year?