COMMENTARY | Despite some criticism from fans and fighters, UFC Irish sensation Conor McGregor has never been apologetic about the unprecedented hype he receives.
As far as he's concerned, he's worthy of the backing he continues to get from the UFC's brass, and he's eager to prove he can compete with -- and defeat -- the elite fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's featherweight division.
If McGregor has his way, he'll be throwing down with the middleweight winner of the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Diego Sanchez, early 2014.
The two came to an agreement during a recent Twitter battle:
"@mickeymanch @TheNotoriousMMA because the point is to cilmb the ladder," Sanchez responded when asked why McGregor wasn't on his radar.
"@DiegoSanchezUFC Only reason you haven't been cut 2 Bellator, with the other has-beens, is because you defend shots with your nose. 0-4 #CUT," McGregor fired back.
Those were clearly fighting words and Diego isn't one to back down.
"@TheNotoriousMMA @danawhite I'm up next in Dallas Texas in March let me know if you want to get #KTFO ? Your all talk #challengeisout," Diego tweeted.
"@DiegoSanchezUFC My comeback fight will be Dublin next year. Its a done deal. McGregor Vs Sanchez. Ireland Vs Mexico. @danawhite Lets do it."
Sanchez is coming off an entertaining three-round battle against Gilbert Melendez (who is one of the top 3 lightweights in mixed martial arts), so fighting McGregor would, indeed, be a step backwards for him as far as getting a title shot is concerned.
However, given the depth in the UFC's lightweight division, the odds of Diego earning a title shot are rather slim, so he might be better off dropping down to the featherweight division where his chances of securing UFC gold are much better.
Sanchez has never made the cut to 145 pounds -- and he might not be able to -- so McGregor might have to move up to the 155-pound division to make the fight happen.
A fight against Sanchez is as good as it gets for McGregor -- especially if he moves up a weight class -- since it gives him the opportunity to prove, once and for all, that he's good enough to defeat a solid veteran like Sanchez.
It'll certainly be a tough test for McGregor, one he might not yet be ready for.
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