Conor McGregor lays out his 2020 hit list – including Khabib rematch
Conor McGregor is planning to have a very busy 2020, capping of the year with UFC gold around his waist.
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion will begin with a Jan. 18 return against veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, but McGregor plans to fight at least three times in the coming year.
In a SportsCenter talk with Randy Scott, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani shared insights about McGregor’s busy 2020 (transcribed by MMAmania.com):
”Okay, so he has laid out this plan that he wants to fight three times next year,” Helwani said about Conor McGregor. “And he hasn’t done that in over three years as well, so it’s a pretty lofty goal.
But he believes that when he is active, then he’s not getting distracted, he’s not getting in trouble. He’s very focused.”
The “distractions” that Helwani mentions could mean the many controversies that McGregor has been involved in lately.
The Irishman famously punched an elderly man in bar, smashed a fan’s telephone, and is currently under investigation for two separate cases of sexual assault.
“…people are telling me right now that they haven’t seen him this focused in a very long time,” Helwani continued about McGregor. “You hear this a lot in the fight game, but he’s going to sleep early, he’s waking up early.
He wants to prove to everyone that thinks he’s shot that they are wrong. So he wants to fight January 18th – in fact, he wanted to fight in December but the UFC didn’t give him that opportunity.”
Many questioned why McGregor had taken the fight at 170 pounds, but according to Helwani, it might be because of two names that are on McGregor’s hit list:
“So he wanted to fight at the beginning of the year, then he wants to return towards spring/summer, maybe fight Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz. Perhaps that’s why this fight is happening at 170, to prove that he can hang with the welterweights.”
Should everything go accordingly to plan, McGregor wants to rematch the current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and revenge his submission loss in Oct. 2018.
“And then he wants to fight at the end of the year against Khabib Nurmagomedov, if he is still the champion, in Moscow. He wants to right that wrong.”
”He wants to win those two fights, get the title fight, and shut everyone up.”