04 Aug - 
‘We’d Just Destroy Him’
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor
Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who also held gold at 145 pounds, has long teased a run at the welterweight title in an effort to become the promotion’s first ever three-division champion. Unfortunately for MMA fans, “Notorious” got rich and famous and became a part-time fighter who now sports a putrid 1-3 record over the last five years, getting stopped in all three losses.

In addition, the 34 year-old Irishman is coming off major surgery after breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier last summer. It’s not unreasonable to think those factors — along with his muscular 190-pound frame — would compel McGregor to contemplate a return to 170 pounds, where he last competed in the UFC 246 main event against fellow puffed-up lightweight Donald Cerrone.

Bad idea, according to No. 4-ranked contender Gilbert Burns.

“I’m not even calling for that fight cause it’s not fair,” the Brazilian told MMA Fighting. “I think he’s a 55-pounder, [if] he’s at 170, he can’t take those punches. He cannot handle that wrestling. You can’t handle the top five guys in that division. You can fight a couple of guys at 170 but he’s not a welterweight. If he really thinks [he is], try some top five [fighters] in that division. I think it’s not fair. We’d just destroy Conor.”

McGregor may instead be targeting an immediate lightweight title shot.

“If you’re talking about the top five in the world, everybody hits hard except Colby [Covington] but everybody can wrestle,” Burns continued. “Colby can wrestle. Colby and Conor is not fun cause Colby would just outwrestle him. Kamaru [Usman], he can hit hard and he can wrestle. Khamzat [Chimaev], he can hit hard and he can wrestle. Leon Edwards, he can hit very hard, good striking and can wrestle. I hit hard and can wrestle so don’t say you’re a welterweight.”

Burns, 36, knows a thing or two about the top of the welterweight food chain, having battled current champion Kamaru Usman and former titleholder Tyron Woodley. As of this writing, “Durinho” remains unbooked but has been linked to a potential showdown against fellow 170-pound veteran and one-time “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal, though it may depend on what happens to “Gamebred” at his upcoming trial.