Former UFC welterweight Dan Hardy believes that Conor McGregor is "no longer championship material" in the promotion's lightweight division which is currently ruled by the Irishman's arch-nemesis Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While talking to Submission Radio, Dan Hardy claimed that Conor McGregor is no longer the fighter he once was. He cited the fact that during the fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor got brutally dominated by the undefeated Russian and before being forced to quit and since then, Conor McGregor hasn't fought at 155lbs at all. The former two-division champion's last win at 155lbs came against Eddie Alvarez back in 2016 and Hardy believes that McGregor doesn't deserve the chance to rematch Khabib for the title, skipping over a host of other contenders who have good win streaks going.
Hardy stressed on the fact that the top-ranked lightweights know the limits of Conor McGregor's abilities and that there are many guys apart from Nurmagomedov who would smash the Irishman inside the cage at the moment. he further went on to claim that even a fight against Islam Makachev would be a stylistic nightmare for McGregor and a fight that the latter is most likely to lose.
Speaking about whether Conor McGregor may be considered a legitimate contender in the lightweight division if he beats Dustin Poirier in a welterweight clash in January, Hardy said that regardless of how big a pay-per-view draw he is, Conor McGregor must beat Poirier at 155 and not 170 to earn a title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov. He said that it will be disrespectful to the division if McGregor gets to skip the queue above other contenders even though he is not on a winning streak in the lightweight division.
Having said that, Hardy was still doubtful whether McGregor will ever get to fight for the title as long as Khabib Nurmagomedov is the champion simply because the champ is done with McGregor and he doesn't want to fight a man he has previously dominated inside the Octagon.Published 21 Oct 2020, 20:26 IST