NOT THE FIRST TO HAVE TRIED AND FAILED- Adam Sylva
On March 6th of 2016 in Las Vegas Connor McGregor walked into the MGM Grand fighting two weight classes above the one he had found so much success and popularity. “The Notorious One” is the UFC Featherweight Champion and without any worry in the world, he decided to take a fight two weight classes above his own and fight as a welterweight.
The UFC decided to go ALL-IN and get as many people to tune is as possible and it worked. Dana White matched him up against a hard hitting, smack talking, rough around the edges mixed martial artist Nate Diaz. The fight brought many eyes to the octagon including Hollywoods A- listers as well as many pro athletes going on social media’s Facebook and Twitter to voice their opinion on who was going to win.
After a grueling two rounds of non-stop action Nate Diaz was the one with his hand raised when Connor McGregor tapped out to a rear naked choke. The winner of the main event was the heavier opponent and although that may seem to be expected, that was not the case in this fight. Mixed Martial Arts experts and fans across the globe expected Connor McGregor to win quite easily. Losing to the bigger fighter, the internet is still threading his name so much that McGregor may have gained more popularity with the loss more than if he had won the fight.
Although he was the first in the UFC to originally have the chance at becoming a champion in two different weight classes at the same time, Connor McGregor was not the first to take on the challenge of jumping a few weight classes.
The former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn once decided to compete outside the octagon well above his normal weight class. The opponent Penn had would eventually go on to become the UFC light heavyweight champion, he chose to fight a light heavyweight named Lyotto Machida.
Penn had already shocked the world when he decided to go from lightweight to welterweight and defeated Matt Hughes for the UFC welterweight championship. After upsetting Hughes, Penn went on to fight for K-1 where he battled to the decision against the much heavier opponent Machida.
After the loss, Penn returned to the UFC to have a glorious career and has become a sure hall of famer. Although we all know “The Prodigy” for his accomplishments, Penn never received fame and fortune that current featherweight champion Connor McGregor has received. After a short retirement, Penn is now training with Greg Jackson and John Winkeljohn and looking for a UFC return…