Conor McGregor will return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship on January 18 in the main event of UFC 246, where he’ll face Donald Cerrone.
Conor McGregor has opted to fight Donald Cerrone at welterweight due to his torturous cuts down to featherweight, UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes. McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon on January 18 in the main event of UFC 246, which will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The announcement of McGregor vs Cerrone was by no means a surprise given the fact the fight has been in the works for several months.
What did come as a surprise, though, was the fact the fan favourites will be fighting at welterweight.
Both men are no stranger to fighting at 170lbs, with McGregor competing in the division in 2016 for his back-to-back fights with Nate Diaz and Cerrone dipping in and out of the weight class over the last few years.
McGregor’s decision to compete at welterweight perplexed many given his desire to reclaim the lightweight title from Khabib Nurmagomedov, who he’s hoping to rematch late next year.
Rogan was amongst those left scratching their heads by McGregor’s return to the 170lbs division, a choice he believes he’s made due to the years of gruelling cuts to 145lbs taking a toll on his body.
“Because Conor doesn’t want to lose any weight,” Rogan said during the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast when discussing McGregor’s return to welterweight. “I think that guy tortured himself to get down to 145 so hard.
“When you look at what he looked like when he was on the scale, when he was flexing, he looked like a god damn zombie. It was horrible.
“So I think, whether he complains or not about that, nobody rides for free. You do that to your body for a couple of years, you do some damage and it makes it harder to lose the weight afterwards.
“So then he’s going up to 155. He’s obviously elite at 155, wins the title at 155, has the great rematch with Diaz at 170 and then comes back and fights Khabib at 155 and gets mauled. He has a fight with Cowboy, he’s really a 55er that can fight welterweight.
“That’s the right size for him versus, I don’t think Nate is fighting 155 any time in the future anymore.”
Rogan, like many others, is looking forward to seeing how McGregor’s style matches up against Cerrone’s, saying: “It’s gonna be f*****g great.
“Whether you watch it on TV or you watch it live, it’s gonna be f*cking great. And if Conor can catch him early, it could be very interesting.
“[But] if Cowboy can use his distance – and he’s very good at doing it – and he can avoid that straight left because Conor’s got a piston of a left hand.”
McGregor, 31, hasn’t set foot inside the cage since losing his UFC 229 grudge match with Nurmagomeodv last October.
The Dubliner is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on fighting three times next year.
After announcing his comeback fight at a press conference in Russia, McGregor said: “That will be the beginning of my season. Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz, we are set to make the trilogy belt, so we will see how that goes, I feel Nate will get the better of that one, and we will contest the trilogy belt.
“Then I will seek the Moscow belt, and it will be against the winner of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor is confident he’ll best Nurmagomedov second time around, adding: “I will come in sharp, fresh.
“I will have no injuries, I will have no alcohol, I will have no outside influences.
“I will be fully focused, exactly what the people deserve, exactly what the fans deserve, and we will settle it, once and for all.”
I think that guy tortured himself to get down to 145 so hard