UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor wants fighters complaining about not getting title shots to be grateful they're even in the conversation.
Featherweight champion Conor McGregor is pursuing a historic second title belt at UFC 205, when he faces lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. Some are concerned that McGregor winning and holding title belts in two weight classes could stall two divisions. For instance, he hasn't defended the featherweight belt since winning it in December 2015.
When Jose Aldo was again passed up for a shot at a featherweight title unification bout, it prompted him to publicly request his release from the UFC. Khabib Nurmagomedov had two contracts to fight Alvarez for the lightweight championship at either UFC 205 or 206 and was under the impression he'd be getting the fight before the UFC announced the super fight with McGregor in the main event of the 205 card. Nurmagomedov issued the UFC his own ultimatum after being passed up.
It isn't strictly the divisions affected by McGregor either. Women's bantamweight contender Julianna Pena has voiced her displeasure at being passed up for a shot at champion Amanda Nunes in favor for a bout with the returning Ronda Rousey, whom she called a "spoiled brat."
McGregor wishes these fighters would simply be quiet.
"Tell me one time that crying and moaning, tell me one time that's good for progression. It's not," he told SI by phone while promoting his role in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. "Where would you be if I wasn't here? Be grateful that you're even in the conversation.
"Keep your head down, keep working, stay focused, stay positive, that's the way to go forward. Not crying, moaning, complaining. I can't engage in that. I wish them well, but I'm on something different here."
McGregor gets a chance to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold belts in two weight classes at the same time on Nov. 12 in Madison Square Garden.