It all came about after McGregor responded to a fan who shared their list of the “best boxers in the UFC.” Their list, ranked first to fifth, is comprised of interim UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, Max Holloway, McGregor, Jose Aldo and Nate Diaz, respectively.
“Notorious” reacted to the list, pointing out that he holds victories over three names on the list, Holloway, Aldo and Diaz. He claimed that he outboxed all three fighters and that the only reason his rival, Dustin Poirier, landed punches was because the Irishman broke his leg in their trilogy fight in July 2021.
“I outboxed 3 guys on this list!” McGregor tweeted. “There’s no one even remotely close to my boxing in the ufc. Even Dustin only got shots off post the leg damage. Everyone has been pucked around by me if we are going off boxing.”
McGregor then complemented the first name on the list, Yan, but then said he’d “rip” Yan up.
“Yan is good tho, i like his style,” McGregor continued. “I’d rip him up in that shell tho.”
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Yan Challenged McGregor, Notorious Accepted
Well, the interim UFC bantamweight champion noticed Notorious’ comment, and he challenged Notorious to a boxing match. “Conor, we all know that you like to talk, but let’s get straight to the point if you really want to box or to fight, I don’t care about the weight or the ruleset,” Yan tweeted. “I bet you won’t show up.”
McGregor, who is currently rehabbing his broken leg, accepted Yan’s challenge.
“Lol, no prob littler,” McGregor responded. “We will set up a spar or something similar in the near future. Will host you and your team in Ireland for one of our shows at Crumlin boxing club. We will figure it out then, kid. God bless ya. @ParimatchGlobal, get this set.”
McGregor has never competed below 145 pounds in his MMA career, but he has fought as high as welterweight. Yan has been a career 135-pound fighter.
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Yan Recently Earned the Interim Strap After Losing the Undisputed Belt Via Disqualification
Although Yan only holds the interim championship, he’s viewed by many fans and analysts as the best 135 pounder on the planet. He won the interim belt at UFC 267 on October 30, 2021, when he defeated Cory Sandhagen by unanimous decision.
In the fight prior, Yan was the undisputed bantamweight champion defending his belt against Aljamain Sterling. The Russian appeared on his way to victory at UFC 259 earlier this year. However, Yan hit Sterling, who was grounded, with an illegal knee in the fourth round and was disqualified, making Sterling the bantamweight champion.
Sterling is recovering from neck surgery and will most likely fight Yan next to unify the 135-pound belt.