Joe Rogan thinks Conor McGregor needs a 'warm-up fight' before facing Kamaru Usman

  • Tom Ward

Conor McGregor should accept a ‘warm-up fight’ before facing Kamaru Usman, according to UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

Former two-division champion McGregor has been out of action since his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier last year at UFC 264 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

However, he was recently filmed sparring in a boxing ring for the first time since he suffered a broken leg, as he continues his recovery from surgery.

The Notorious, 33, has also publicly entertained the prospect of moving up a weight class to face UFC welterweight champion Usman, who locked horns with bitter rival Colby Covington last November.

But according to Rogan, he would be better off facing a lower level of competition first before he considers stepping in there with one of the all-time greats.

During an appearance on the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast, Rogan said: “If Conor wants the most chance of success, I would say fight a guy who is a little below championship level.

“Maybe a guy on the come-up who Conor has an advantage over, but it’s still a competitive fight. Give him a test, but don’t put him in there right away with Usman.

“I think, honestly, when boxers come back from a long layoff and they come back from a loss, one thing that boxers do that’s smart is they have a tune-up fight.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan reckons Conor McGregor should accept a ‘warm-up fight’ next

“I think there’s a reason why they’ve been using tune-up fights forever, like astute managers.

“They know you’ve got to knock the dust off and you’ll be better in the next performance, [rather than] to jump right into a Dustin Poirier or right into — name it — Michael Chandler, like right into a guy who’s the elite of the elite.

“I think what Conor needs to do is what Conor wants to do.

“If Conor thinks he can go up and fight Usman and make a big payday, try to become a three-division champion, he should do that.

“He should do whatever he wants to do.

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“But if I was like a manager to him, and I said, ‘What’s the best path to success?’ The best path to success is like the ‘Cowboy’ fight. No disrespect to ‘Cowboy,’ but that fight turned out to be kind of like a warm-up fight.”

Covington, meanwhile, believes McGregor should run it back with Nate Diaz instead.

He told MMA reporter James Lynch: “I mean, I’m not sure if that’s actually going to happen.

“I think Conor’s going to fight Nate. That’s the biggest money fight the UFC can do.

“It’s what, a trilogy? They need to close that chapter. So I think that’s the fight that’s going to happen.

“It’s the fight that makes the most sense for the UFC, and then if he wants to fight for the title after that then yeah, no problem. He can go fight for the title.

“He has the biggest name in the UFC, he won world titles across two weight classes, and he did this mega fight with a boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather and created just ridiculous numbers.

“I think that guy has the leverage and the name to be able to do and pick and call and choose his shots so that’s what he’ll do.

“Whatever shot he wants to do, he’s going to call it and, he’s going to get to do it.

“That’s how life is, that’s how it goes, but when you put together a resume like his, there’s no reason to complain about it.”

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