Conor McGregor called out by UFC legend ahead of welterweight return

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Conor McGregor has been called out by Jorge Masvidal ahead of his return to the UFC. The Irishman has been away from the UFC for a year-and-a-half after suffering a leg break against Dustin Poirier. After putting on what looks to be around 30lbs of muscle, he’ll look to make the seamless transition from lightweight to welterweight. 

It’s a class in which McGregor has fought before, with wins over Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone – the latter being his last win in the UFC. But after just one win in six years, many argue that the Irishman’s best days are behind him.

And Masvidal has attempted to goad the 34-year-old into a fight, with some strong words for him ahead of his return to the octagon. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Masvidal said: “I want Conor, but Conor doesn’t me. I think I’m bigger, I think I’m quicker than him. So I get it, stylistically it’s not the best for him or his brand.”

Masvidal himself is in need of a win, after losing his last three bouts – two against Kamaru Usman and the last against his most bitter rival in Colby Covington. He will not be fighting McGregor next, with him set to face Gilbert Burns on the undercard of UFC 287 – which will also see Alex Pereira defend his middleweight title against Israel Adesanya.

McGregor will look to win his third title in the UFC at a third weight level, after winning the featherweight straps (defeating Jose Aldo) and lightweight (defeating Eddie Alvarez). 

But it may take him some time to do so, with Leon Edwards currently holding the belt and defending it against former champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London in March.

As well as McGregor and Masvidal, the welterweight class is a stacked division – with Khamzat Chimeav, Covington and Belal Muhammed all in the mix.

McGregor was reportedly in line to fight Michael Chandler on his return, but no contest has yet been announced despite the latter being keen to take him on.

McGregor has been out of the USADA testing pool since the third quarter of last year, meaning it could be six months before he’s allowed back in the octagon to fight once again.

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