Skip to main content

Conor McGregor’s recent suggestion that his return to the UFC might well come at middleweight could be the latest move in one of combat sports’ most legendary careers, says UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley.

McGregor revealed in recent days that he was considering 185-pounds for his forthcoming return to action, which he said will come against Michael Chandler in June. The announcement raised a few eyebrows in the mixed martial arts community, particularly given that it is just over a decade since the Dubliner made his Octagon debut at 145-pounds.

World titles swiftly followed at 145 and 155-pounds, as well as a highlight reel knockout of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in the welterweight fold, but if McGregor does come back as a middleweight, O’Malley has his own idea why.

“Chandler probably walks around max 185,” O’Malley said on his TimboSugarShow podcast, as noted by MMA Junkie. “Conor probably 190-195. But interesting matchup there, 185.

“If he knocks out Chandler, he’d have a knockout at ’45, knockout at ’55, knockout at ’70, knockout at 185. That would be legendary.”

McGregor scored a quick knockout in his UFC debut back in April 2013 against Marcus Brimage in Sweden. His most infamous KO in the featherweight frame undoubtedly came a couple of years later against Jose Also, whom he finishedjust 13-seconds into their keenly-anticipated featherweight world title fight in December 2015.

Just under a year later, McGregor earned a second-round knockout of then-champ Eddie Alvarez in a lightweight world title fight and the aforementioned knockout of Cerrone came in January 2020.

O’Malley, too, is no stranger to shutting his opponents’ lights off, with 12 of his 17 career wins having been finished with strikes.

Just one other fighter in the UFC history, Jared Cannonier, has successfully scored knockouts in three weight divisions — with the 39-year-old American’s coming in the heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight divisions.