Gilbert Burns thinks it would be a mistake for Conor McGregor to return to the UFC as a welterweight, advising ‘The Notorious’ to stick to lightweight unless he wants to get mauled at 170 pounds.
McGregor is 2-1 at welterweight with wins against Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone, but neither of those fighters had any real success at that weight class and spent most of their careers at 155 pounds.
When it comes to the top welterweights such as Burns, Usman, and Chimaev, ‘Durinho’ thinks ‘we’d just destroy Conor’ and that it wouldn’t be fair to match him up with someone in the top five.
“He’s not a welterweight but if he wants to fight at welterweight, I’d love to beat the s*** out of Conor,” Burns told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “I think he’s not going to take that punch. I’m not even talking about grappling cause that’s not fair. [I’d] just take him down and maul him but a fight with Conor, it’s a win-win for me. I’m going to beat him up and I’m going to get a ton of crazy money. I’m not even calling for that fight cause it’s not fair. I think he’s a 55-pounder, [if] He’s at 170, he can’t take those punches. He cannot handle that wrestling.”
“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.
“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 has put on considerable weight during his year-long hiatus, with the Irishman looking almost unrecognizable in some of his photos. It’s thought that McGregor now weighs around 190 pounds, with SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh confirming his prized student is much bigger than he used to be.
McGregor is still recovering from the broken leg suffered in his TKO loss to Dustin Poirier last July, with the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion expected to return to the Octagon by late 2022 or early next year. He is currently unranked at welterweight.