Following this past weekend’s UFC 280 pay-per-view event, McGregor was his usual self online, taking potshots at headline victor Islam Makhachev. As well as suggesting that he has the tools to defeat the Dagestani, the “Notorious” star went on the offensive in regard to his likely first defense.
After ending the 11-fight win streak of Charles Oliveira, Makhachev stood face-to-face with Volkanovski inside the Octagon, with Khabib Nurmagomedov having previously laid out the champion’s plan to defeat the 145-pound titleholder in Perth, Australia, next February.
But McGregor made his thoughts on that matchup clear, branding the pair “little ticks” and doubting their PPV draw. Volkanovski was quick to hit back, though, by using the Irishman’s past words against him.
Alongside an image of one of McGregor’s tweets from 2014, which read, “Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners,” the Australian wrote, “A former wise man once said…”
But perhaps surprisingly, that’s where any sign of animosity ended.
Rather than hitting back with the kind of insult-laden tweet we’ve come to associate with McGregor’s online presence, the former lightweight and featherweight champ claimed to be “happy for” Volkanovski’s success.
“Just watching and monitoring mate. That’s all. Happy for you in the spot tbh. I’ll be back. This is not over. You know,” McGregor wrote.
After also adjusting his approach to one of “respect,” Volkanovski responded to McGregor’s comeback promise by noting that he’ll be happy to welcome him back to the Octagon down the line.
“Respect brother,” Volkanovski said. “Will be happy to welcome you back.”
McGregor Tells Volkanovski To “Be A Bowling Ball”
While his current form and place on the UFC ladder is a far cry from the peak of his success inside the Octagon, McGregor cemented his name in the history books when he became the first-ever simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history.
Having dethroned José Aldo with a 13-second knockout at 145 pounds, McGregor turned his attention to further gold. And after a two-fight series with Nate Diaz at welterweight, the Dublin native delivered an emphatic performance to unseat Eddie Alvarez from the 155-pound throne.
Given his past success in moving up to lightweight with an immediate title shot, McGregor offered some advice for Volkanovski as he prepares to mount a similar challenge.
Picking up on the Aussie’s past experience as a sizable rugby player, McGregor suggested that “The Great” must return to that “bowling ball” physique if he’s to have a chance of beating newly crowned lightweight king Makhachev.
“And we dance on. Good. I was in your exact spot one time don’t forget. 145 coming up. Good luck. I’d say go heavier. Rugby days. Be a bowling ball,” McGregor advised. “That’s how I’d do it as you. Your condition right now as i see it, I don’t know. But bowling ball style for you for best chance… Aim to head butt the chest cavity.”
Should Volkanovski add his name to the list of champ-champs next year, talk will no doubt turn to a possible matchup with McGregor, who’s been on the sidelines since suffering a broken leg in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier last July.
Despite announcing his intentions to return at welterweight, that didn’t stop former lightweight titleholder Charles Oliveira from campaigning for a money fight opposite the Irishman.
And while Volkanovski plans to remain active across both lightweight and featherweight should he attain multi-weight champ status, perhaps he’ll be open to fitting a handsome payday against McGregor in.
What do you make of Conor McGregor’s advice for Alexander Volkanovski?