Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor has been granted a boxing license by the California State Athletic Commission.
The former Crumlin BC amateur moved into MMA in his late teens and, based largely off his boxing skills, would become a two-weight World champion with the Cage Warriors promotion and, last month, the UFC. Earlier this week McGregor was stripped of his UFC featherweight (145lbs) belt, but remains lightweight (155lbs) champ following his knockout win – which came through a four punch combination – over Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden.
“He got a licence today and a federal ID. He’s a California boxer now,” California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster told MMAFighting.com.
“He’s qualified [as a boxer],” Foster said. “I’d love to see him fight in California. It just needs to be the right opponent. Certainly a high-level opponent. We’re happy to license him. We’re happy he’s a California fighter.”
McGregor occasionally spars at Paschal Collins’s Celtic Warriors Gym in Corduff, as well as with former Crumlin team mate Declan Geraghty. For his rematch with Nate Diaz during the Summer, ‘The Notorious’ brought Newry amateur southpaw Conor Wallace out to Las Vegas for training camp.
McGregor is not the first Irish fighter signed to the UFC with close links to boxing. Before moving into the promotion, Donegal’s Joe Duffy was a [7(2)-0] pro boxer, while Dublin’s Cathal Pendred last year stated his intentions to move into boxing – although he has since become a businessman.
If he were to box, McGregor would campaign in either the welterweight (147lbs) or light middleweight (154lbs) divisions.
While it could, of course, be a publicity stunt, the move no doubt increases speculation that McGregor is on course for a mega fight with five-weight champion Floyd McGregor [49(26)-0].