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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Donagh Corby

Conor McGregor offered potential route to title shot via four-man UFC tournament

Conor McGregor has been told he must win just one fight on his octagon return to earn a shot at the welterweight title.

The Irishman is angling for an immediate shot at Kamaru Usman's 170lb belt, which would be an unprecedented third division for him to fight for gold after winning the featherweight and lightweight belts in 2015 and 2016. But Usman is less interested, and has already pencilled Leon Edwards as his next opponent.

Instead, the champion's manager Ali Abdelaziz has suggested a four-man tournament between Usman, Edwards, McGregor and Nate Diaz to decide the fate of the division. Abdelaziz, who also takes care of McGregor's fiercest rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, believes that would be enough to earn the Irishman a shot at a third belt.

"Kamaru Usman vs vs Leon Edwards and Conor vs Nate, this is 4 man tournament," Abdelaziz tweeted in response to a recent Usman interview with TMZ. "If this little Irish b**** wins he gets his title shot next."

Abdelaziz's suggestion will likely prove controversial with fans and fighters alike given McGregor and Diaz's recent records. The Irishman has lost his last two bouts at the weight below, and is only 2-1 at welterweight. Meanwhile, Diaz has lost three of his last four, and is unranked.

McGregor is the No.9 contender at lightweight, but is also unranked at welterweight. His last win did come at 170lb when he defeated Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone within seconds at UFC 246 in January 2020 before coronavirus restrictions cost him his 'comeback season' that had been planned for 2020.

Would you be frustrated if Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz was made as a No.1 contender fight for the UFC welterweight title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Conor McGregor could add a third UFC belt to his collection (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

However, he is undoubtedly the biggest star in the sport, and has been world champion at two different weights, as well as holding knockout finishes at all three of the weights in which he has competed. Promotional boss Dana White has rubbished fans concerns over McGregor getting a shot at the belt, while the Irishman has said he has nothing to fear from Usman.

McGregor returned to sparring on Wednesday against pal Cian Cowley, and will be back working on MMA within the next few weeks. Last week, he told Mirror Fighting he would be "straight back into training". "I'm looking forward to getting back into the octagon," he said. "We'll see what happens, the leg's getting better every day, I think 170 is where I'm aiming for, I feel good at this weight."

"I feel confident against Usman," he told TheMacLife last month. "A jab-happy, sloppy, orthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever - what's he going to do? Where's the danger here? I don't see danger - no one has ever obtained three titles in three divisions like I will do if we make this fight."

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