Conor McGregor is looking for his next opponent after needing just 13 seconds to defeat Jose Aldo, and he may have found one following Saturday's UFC lightweight championship match. Rafael dos Anjos retained the title against Donald Cerrone, setting up a potential fight with McGregor in 2016.
To much global attention, McGregor became the undisputed featherweight champ with his victory on Dec. 12. While a rematch with Aldo could potentially be in the cards, UFC’s most popular fighter is looking to make the move from 145 pounds to 155 pounds.
"What's next for Conor? The lightweight belt,” McGregor coach John Kavanagh said via the42.ie, an Irish sports fan site, before Anjos beat Cerrone. “We're going to take a little break from that cut down to 145 pounds, even though this one was the easiest so far. But in saying that, ‘easy' is a relative term. It still requires a level of discipline that 99.9 percent of people wouldn't have, never mind be able to compete as well the following day. So the next step will be winning the title in the 155-pound division.”
Anjos made quick work of Cerrone, who was on an eight-fight winning streak. In the last year, Anjos has defeated the likes of Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis and Cerrone, dominating the lightweight division with five consecutive wins overall.
Despite McGregor’s popularity and the way he defeated Aldo, he might not have an easy time against Anjos. Bet Online has made Anjos a slight favorite in a potential fight, giving him -115 betting odds to beat McGregor, who is an early -105 underdog. Coming off a big victory, Anjos is as confident as ever.
"Listen, McGregor," dos Anjos said via espn.com. "If you want to come to the lightweight division, this is my division."
“Conor McGregor said he wants to come to my division, and I think it wouldn’t be a smart decision. But if he wants to come, I’d be happy to welcome him,” Anjos continued.
Only two UFC fighters have ever won titles in two different weight classes. Randy Couture was both the heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, while B.J. Penn won the welterweight and lightweight titles. McGregor won the lightweight championship at CWFC, the promotion for which he fought before joining UFC.
According to Kavanagh, McGregor is eyeing a lightweight title fight in April. McGregor plans to win the lightweight title and hold onto his featherweight championship at the same time. But there’s a chance McGregor could have one more featherweight title defense without facing Aldo again. Frankie Edgar wants his shot at McGregor, having beaten Chad Mendes on Dec. 11 to get his fifth straight victory.
McGregor has no shortage of potential opponents after beating Aldo and crossing into the mainstream. Anjos, Edgar, and Diaz have all called out the featherweight champ.
Line them up on their knees with their hands out. I want them to beg me. pic.twitter.com/YCYf0QslNR
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 20, 2015