Conor McGregor warned against moving up to welterweight as he 'cannot handle that wrestling'

  • Tom Ward

Conor McGregor has received a firm warning about moving up to the UFC‘s welterweight division.

The Notorious has not fought since suffering a horrific broken leg in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier last July.

But it is highly likely that the 34-year-old will return to the octagon at some point in the near future despite recently teasing his retirement as he has previously targeted a shot at welterweight king Kamaru Usman.

Fellow MMA fighter Stephen Thompson has said McGregor would naturally struggle to adapt to competing at the heavier weight due to the sheer amount of ‘high-level wrestlers’.

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And Burns also believes the Irishman would be taking a big risk by going up against heavier rivals who are more comfortable at that weight class.

Speaking to MMA Fighting, he said: “He’s not a welterweight but if he wants to fight at welterweight, I’d love to beat the s*** out of Conor.

“I think he’s not going to take that punch. I’m not even talking about grappling cause that’s not fair. [I’d] just take him down and maul him but a fight with Conor, it’s a win-win for me.

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“I’m going to beat him up and I’m going to get a ton of crazy money.

“I’m not even calling for that fight cause it’s not fair. I think he’s a 55-pounder, [if] he’s at 170, he can’t take those punches. He cannot handle that wrestling.”

Burns, who came up short against Khamzat Chimaev in their grudge match earlier this year, continued: “If you’re talking about the top five in the world, everybody hits hard except Colby [Covington] but everybody can wrestle.

“Colby can wrestle. Colby and Conor is not fun cause Colby would just outwrestle him. Kamaru [Usman], he can hit hard and he can wrestle.

“Khamzat [Chimaev], he can hit hard and he can wrestle. Leon Edwards, he can hit very hard, good striking and can wrestle. I hit hard and can wrestle so don’t say you’re a welterweight.

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“You can’t handle the top five guys in that division. You can fight a couple of guys at 170 but he’s not a welterweight. If he really thinks [he is], try some top five [fighters] in that division. I think it’s not fair. We’d just destroy Conor.”

Burns added: “I don’t think he’s going [to fight] Masvidal. I think he’s going to fight Michael Chandler. That’s the way I see it.

“That’s why I think I’m fighting Masvidal September, October and then I do believe whenever Conor is coming back, he’s coming back at 155 [pounds]. I don’t know why but I think he’s fighting Michael Chandler.

“It’s a crazy fight. I think that’s going to happen. For sure, I’ve got my guy Chandler all day against Conor but I would love to see that fight.

“I think it’s going to be a crazy fight but Michael has so much power, he’s so athletic, the guy’s a beast.

“I think [Chandler] can knockout anyone in that division, especially Conor that’s kind of an athlete but he’s a celebrity.

The guy, sometimes he’s training, sometimes he’s out drinking, going crazy, he doesn’t have the lifestyle to be in the top five of the division anymore. A lot of respect, the guy was double champ but he’s not that guy anymore. I don’t think he has the discipline to be at the top of the division. He doesn’t have that anymore.”

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