UFC superstar Conor McGregor has been warned to stay away from the welterweight division ahead of his highly anticipated return to MMA.
“Notorious” hasn’t fought since fracturing his tibia and fibula at UFC 264 in July 2021, but is expected to return to action later this year or in the first quarter of 2023.
During his absence from the sport, McGregor has seriously strengthened himself and set his sights on the UFC welterweight belt currently in the hands of Kamaru Usman.
Gilbert Burns, who fought for the 170-pound title last year, warned the UFC legend that a weight increase would not end well for him.
“You can’t handle the top five guys in this division. You can fight a few guys at 170, but that’s not welterweight. If he really thinks [he is]try some of the top five [fighters] in this division. I don’t think that’s fair. We would just destroy Conor,” the Brazilian told MMA Fighting.
“If you’re talking about the top five in the world, everyone hits hard except Colby [Covington] but everyone can fight. Colby can struggle. Colby and Conor are no fun because Colby would top 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 really hard, hit well and can wrestle. I hit hard and I can wrestle so don’t say you’re a welterweight.
Although he thinks McGregor can’t compete at welterweight, Burns will be happy to see him join the division as it represents a potentially large and relatively easy salary.
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“He’s not a welterweight, but if he wants to fight at welterweight, I would love to beat Conor,” Burns added.
“I think he’s not going to take that punch. I’m not even talking about grappling because it’s not fair. [I’d] Shoot him down and maim him, but a fight with Conor is a win-win for me. I will beat him and I will win a ton of crazy money.
Lately, talk of McGregor’s imminent return has died down as it was recently revealed that the Irishman is set to make his acting debut alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.
“Mystic Mac” will play a starring role in Amazon Prime’s new reimagining of 1980s classic Road House, set to begin filming in the Dominican Republic later this month.