Can Conor McGregor Go the Distance With the Lightweights

By Derek Ferreira
Aug. 24, 2016

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Sportsblog readers, welcome to another edition of the MMA Take. This week, I will talk about the events that unfolded at UFC 202. I'll talk about Conor McGregor, Anthony Johnson making a statement, and what is next for Donald Cerrone.

Can Conor McGregor Go the Distance With the Lightweights: I was impressed with McGregor in this second fight against Nate Diaz, but Nate Diaz didn't fight like a welterweight. When McGregor got tired in the third round, and at the start of the fourth, Diaz went towards him and tried to get into a scrap when he could've gone for the clinch. Diaz doesn't have that strong clinch like a dos Anjos or Nurmagomedov, and Diaz didn't use his takedown strategy. The point was that he didn't want to test McGregor's fatigue, and wanted to fight his own fight. Fighters like Frankie Edgar, dos Anjos, and Nurmagomedov would test McGregor's fatigue in different ways and keep him tired rather than McGregor walking around the Octagon. Sure, McGregor is an excellent fighter, but if he fights against the marquee lightweights, his conditioning will bite him in the neck. Meanwhile, what's next for McGregor? He has to defend his featherweight title. I believe that a champion has to defend his title and the fact that McGregor fought outside the division bothers me. McGregor didn't win because of a controversial decision or a premature stoppage; he knocked out Aldo.

Anthony Johnson to be Next Challenger for UFC Lightweight Championship: Assuming if Jon Jones gets cleared this week, there would be no debate he would be next in line to face Daniel Cormier. But I do have vested interest in a Johnson vs. Cormier rematch, but no matter what he did in that fight against Glover Teixeira, he puts his name in there as a top contender. Without a doubt, Jon is the best fighter in MMA history. He never lost the light heavyweight title and went on to capture the interim light heavyweight title. Yes, his drug test was the reason why UFC 200 wasn't successful, but once USADA clears him, you can't take away his title shot. Plus, when it comes to money, Cormier vs. Jones is the box office attraction.

What's Next for Donald Cerrone: Donald Cerrone should be a welterweight. "Cowboy" has looked great since he moved up to weight with three wins coming in stoppage. I'd like to see him get tested in welterweights. I want to see stay in the division a bit longer.