Conor McGregor may vacate his lightweight title to move up a division permanently, according to teammate Gunnar Nelson.
UFC welterweight contender Nelson admits the challenge to get down to the 145lbs for the day before bouts is taking its toll on McGregor.
The Irishman stepped up two divisions to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 196, and was beaten, although he has called for a rematch.
“I know he can go back down and defend his title, no problem. But I just think he doesn’t want to do that cut again,” Nelson told the MMA Hour.
“It’s a nasty one, and I agree with him. I understand that. So, I think maybe I would like to see him going to the 155 [division] before going all the way up to welterweight [again]. But, you know, he can do whatever he feels like.”
McGregor’s future in UFC is currently unclear after pulling out of the rematch with Diaz in protest to the media commitments, which he argued would have interfered with his training schedule.
And Nelson believes McGregor did, in fact, retire, although he expects ‘Notorious’ to return eventually.
“I think that was the reason why he kind of had enough. Like he says, he’s done dancing like a monkey, and he felt like going over there was going to come down on his training. So he decided to retire, and he was retired,” he said.
“Then, I think he kind of changed his mind and wanted to see if he could back or make it through whatever was the deal.
“I do believe he’s going to come back and fight. I’m not sure, but maybe [UFC] 201, or 202. I would definitely put my money on that he’ll be back.”