Whatever you think of the outspoken Conor McGregor, you have to admit he does draw a crowd and make the sport Mixed Martial Arts more interesting. He has to be the biggest trash-talker in the sport. He is hard to ignore. For this reason, he brings the biggest-money fights to the UFC and, whether his fellow fighters like it or not, he will give them a great opportunity for the biggest paycheque.
McGregor-lovers will point to his impressive record and the fact that he has held belts at two different weights and won fights at three. McGregor’s biggest fan is, arguably, himself and he firmly believes he is the second greatest fighter ever to grace the sport; soon to be first. “No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily.” What are the odds McGregor will make a triumphant return? What are the odds he will go on to be the greatest ever? If you look at the top operators listed in SBO, all of them could partner with him and that’s a great opportunity for punters to bet on MMA.
It appears that McGregor is keen on a return to The Octagon and is happy to fight behind closed doors, with no spectators, if needs be. There will likely be a queue of suitors for a potential big-money fight, but it remains to be seen who gets the nod. A good way of gauging where the fight will go, is looking at where the trash-talk is focussed. We all know ‘The Notorious’ likes to talk-up a fight and the pre-fight build-up is just part of the game. With rival and defeater Khabib Nurmagomedov side-lined in his home country, McGregor will have to look elsewhere if he plans to fight in the near future. Here is a look at potential options:
Off the back of his spectacular victory against the battle-hardened Tony Ferguson, Gaethje is the most obvious option. He is in the UFC spotlight and it would be the biggest fight at Lightweight. The trash-talking is already pointing towards a potential clash, with Conor recently bad- mouthing Gaethje and suggesting the bout could happen, in the absence of Khabib. He has always suggested he would finish the Lightweight division before moving up to Welterweight.
McGregor has already fought and defeated Poirier, but had some choice words for him in a recent outburst, saying that if the pair met again, he would administer the same punishment to the man ranked above him in the Lightweight division. It appears that he is keeping his options open. The firs fight in 2014 McGregor won Dustin Porier via TKO during the first round. It was the first time on his career that was stopped by strikes.
The Notorious and Diaz have already faced-off twice and, as it stands, both men have won one bout apiece. Both fights were unforgettable, bloody clashes, which left fans satisfied and both fighters with a lot of respect for each other. The fans know exactly what they would be getting and there are a lot of people out there willing the trilogy to come together at some point. It is unlikely that it will happen any time soon, with McGregor seemingly focussed on the Lightweight division. But, if nothing else fits the bill, then don’t be surprised if this does come about!
MMA is one of the most exciting sports worldwide and it has come out from the shadows to become one of the heavyweights in world sports and, in particular, combat sports. Since the beginning of its history, the greek competitors just had 2 main rules. The fist one was not biting and the second one no eye gouging. At that moment, there was a popular event called Pankration, where the main “gladiators” became subjects of legends and héroes. The ancient Greeks spread out to India because of Alexander the Great.
The popularity of MMA is partially down to big names and big personalities (such as McGregor) turning the spotlight on it and it is certain that wherever the self-appointed King of the sport turns, attention and money will follow. So, whatever your opinion is about the fighter, you and millions of others are bound to tune in to his next fight to support him, or cheer his opponent!