He may be unranked and irrelevant at the moment, but there have been constant talks about a potential title shot for Conor McGregor upon his UFC return. Even the reigning undisputed 155-pound king Charles Oliveira welcomes the idea, despite challengers like Justin Gaethje waiting in the wings.
While the mere thought of the said matchup may seem absurd for those who use logic, there is an argument to be made about such a booking. In a recent video he uploaded, former middleweight champion and UFC Hall-of-Famer Michael Bisping explained it all. And he’s drawing from his own experience.
“I’m a prizefighter, and the prize is money. Georges St-Pierre was the biggest prize available to me at that time. Not only a legendary opponent but in terms of pay-per-view dollars, that’s what we all want,” he said.
“And McGregor said it best himself: red panty night. When you fight McGregor, he’s right. It is red panty night for a lack of a better expression. There’s no bigger star, there’s no bigger prize, there’s no bigger or brighter red panties that you can f—ng get in fighting Conor McGregor.
“And if you’re Charles Oliveira — coming from the slums of Brazil, from the favelas, through the hardship, the ups, and downs, the adversity that he’s had in his life — and you say to him, ‘Hey, do you want to fight Justin Gaethje? A stone-cold killer, a man with heavy hands, a granite chin. Crazy wrestling. Or do you want to fight Conor McGregor?’
“If I’m Charles Oliveira, I am picking Conor McGregor all day long.”
Bisping is aware of the potential backlash from those at the top of the 155-pound ladder. But if McGregor does jump the line, “The Count” says neither the UFC nor Dana White should take the hit.
“I know a lot of people would be pissed off,” Bisping said. “ A lot of people inside the top 15, top five, top ten, they’re gonna say, ‘What the f—k is happening? Why is Conor McGregor getting to skip the line?’
“Well, guess what? Like I said, this is prize fighting. This is pay-per-views, this is the UFC. And they put on the fights, historically, that we want to see.
“So if you’re not happy that Conor McGregor might get to skip the line and fight the champion when he’s not even ranked, don’t blame Conor McGregor. Don’t blame Dana White, don’t blame the UFC. Blame your f—ng self.
“Because you are ultimately responsible because they put on the fights that we want to see. And that’s why the UFC is so popular because that’s what they do.”
McGregor’s last win happened in early 2020 against Donald Cerrone in a welterweight fight. As a lightweight, he last tasted victory in 2016 when he defeated then titleholder Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC’s first-ever “champ-champ.”