McGregor wants to challenge UFC champion Kamaru Usman in his comeback fight, but boxing legend Tyson thinks the Irishman should take a warm-up fight
McGregor is in the final stages of recovering from a broken tibia he suffered against Dustin Poirier in their trilogy fight last July. The Irishman will shortly undergo a CT scan on his leg but expects he should now be able to use it in training comfortably.
The former two-weight champion is without a UFC win in over two years, losing back-to-back fights against Poirier in 2021. McGregor, who is plotting a return at welterweight, has challenged Kamaru Usman in the hopes of adding a third world title to his collection.
Tyson has joined those who have previously encouraged McGregor to take a warm-up fight in his return and thinks regardless of who he fights, he faces the risk of getting injured. “Even if he wins, he’s gonna get hurt in the next fight and he can’t fight the next fight [after that],” Tyson said on The Fight Card podcast.
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“You get your experience down, three more fights, you feel good. The last two guys are really qualified opponents, now you go back out there. I’m a strong believer that after a defeat you should do a couple of fights to get your feet wet. Conor, I think you should build your confidence up and go do what you do, win excitingly.”
McGregor, who has previously held the featherweight and lightweight belts, has dismissed a return at 155lb after bulking up to 190lb during his recovery. His requested fight against Usman is unlikely to take place next, as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is pencilled in to defend his belt against Leon Edwards.
Former UFC champion Henry Cejudo, who was speaking with Tyson on the podcast, suggested McGregor should fight the declining Tony Ferguson in his return, who was knocked out with a brutal front kick from Michael Chandler at UFC 274 last month.
Tyson isn’t so sure, replying: “Well, that’s a tough fight. He’s a warrior, regardless if he loses, He makes exciting fights. It’s hard to beat that guy. No big-time guy, let him get three fights and build his confidence back up. Every fight the opponent goes to a higher level.”
McGregor has been called out by several fighters ahead of his return, with Jorge Masvidal being the latest fighter to try and lure him into a fight. Chandler also put his name in the hat to face McGregor at 170lb, despite having not fought at the weight class for over a decade.