Conor McGregor’s stink over the UFC 196 poster got immediate results, UFC President Dana White revealed in an interview today with DC Radio.

When the UFC featherweight champion wondered aloud why his belt wasn’t represented opposite lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in their champion vs. champion matchup on March 5, he got White to change course.

“Conor made his argument – ‘This is a superfight, I’m the (145-pound) champion, he’s the (155-pound) champion, my belt should be represented even though I’m not defending my belt,’” White said. “And I said, ‘You know what? You’re right, Conor. All right, we’ll do it.’”

The new UFC 196 poster features dos Anjos (25-7 MMA, 14-5 UFC) and McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) with their respective belts. It was recently mounted on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which hosts the lightweight title headliner on pay-per-view.

It’s been seven years since the UFC featured a champion vs. champion fight. At UFC 94, then-lightweight titleholder B.J. Penn attempted to capture the welterweight belt from now-retired champ Georges St-Pierre. In a one-sided drubbing, Penn’s corner threw in the towel after the fourth round.

After showing up late to a news conference promoting UFC 196, McGregor pointed out his belt wasn’t on the podium and chastised the promotion for not highlighting his fight’s stakes.
Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor

Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor

“Where are all these historic images? These are posters that will be looked back on long after it’s all said and done,” he said. “And then you’ve got to look back on that absolute garbage. I think I might have to go into that department, because they must be getting comfortable in that poster department. They want to get their act together and start doing their damn job. The posters are a significant part of the sport’s history.

“I feel someone’s sleeping on the job, and I will have to dip my nose and find out who – and eliminate them.”

So White capitulated. But despite granting McGregor another wish – a shot at the lightweight title, one month after he captured the featherweight belt from Jose Aldo – he isn’t too optimistic about the Irish champion’s chances at collecting another belt.

“He’s a talent like we’ve never seen,” White said. “But, in boxing, you move up another weight class, it’s another two or three pounds. You move up in the UFC, it’s 15 pounds.”

In fact, McGregor is actually moving up 10 pounds to dos Anjos. But he’s not stopping at lightweight; his conquest also includes the welterweight title now held by Robbie Lawler (27-10 MMA, 12-4 UFC), which would undoubtedly put him at a size disadvantage.

Then again, White noted, there hasn’t been a moment when McGregor hasn’t delivered. That’s why he gets what he wants.

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