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Who will Conor McGregor Fight on his MMA Return?

Arguably the biggest name in MMA, Conor McGregor’s career has been the most keenly followed throughout the recent history of the sport, and his many ups and downs have always made the news.

Some had speculated that the story of McGregor and MMA had come to an end after his defeat last year, but it seems there is a chapter or two left as ‘Notorious’ targets a comeback fight later this year. And fans of online sports betting in MI and beyond will be eagerly checking the MMA news and the markets to find out where, when and, most importantly, against whom, that comeback will occur.

Conor McGregor’s next fight won’t be announced until this summer, but when he does return to the Octagon, the most recognizable athlete in mixed martial arts will have a plethora of huge fight alternatives. McGregor is a one-of-a-kind fighter who has used his abilities to hype fights like Muhammad Ali and put opponents to sleep like Mike Tyson to become the most famous fighter in MMA history. The Dublin native possesses an unrivaled “it” factor, which has garnered him a fanatical following comparable to those of boxing legends Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

But, his last visit to the Octagon was a forgettable one. The third and last battle in McGregor’s years-long feud with Dustin Poirier ended in a nightmare for the Irishman. He not only struggled against the Louisiana native, but he also shattered his leg in two places on his way to a second consecutive technical knockout loss. McGregor went from a man on a mission, looking to recover his glory, to a boxer who would be sidelined for the next year in less than five minutes – suffering perhaps the worst defeat in his 14-year career as a result of his opponent’s superior striking and a checked-kick.

Following the fight, McGregor underwent leg surgery and had a steel rod placed in his shattered fibula.

The operation was a success, and it has been reported that he is targeting a return to action in the third quarter of 2022. The identity of his opponent remains up for debate, as does the weight class in which he will return, but matchups with former YouTuber Jake Paul, Michael Chandler, and UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira have all been suggested, though McGregor himself has also signaled a possible name.

 

Jake Paul

Fans and the media have been predicting this fight for months, and Paul even made an offer to the UFC in March to fight McGregor in the Octagon. Because of both men’s huge appeal, a Paul vs McGregor fight is always a possibility in a sport where money rules.

 

Michael Chandler

Chandler, a former Bellator champion and UFC lightweight contender, has long wanted to fight the Irishman. If “Iron Mike” defeats one-time champion Tony Ferguson in May, a Michael Chandler vs. Conor McGregor fight in the fall could become an irresistible fixture.

 

Charles Oliveira

Oliveira has stated that he would be a fool if he did not pursue the lucrative possibility of a fight with Conor McGregor. Dana White, their employer, isn’t opposed to it because the former champion wants it. Stranger things have happened, and McGregor has advocated for a bout with the Brazilian on multiple occasions despite not deserving a title shot. However, it appears like McGregor has changed his mind and no longer sees a return to 155 pounds in his future. The fact that Oliveira will be defending his championship against Justin Gaethje in May will further complicate this matchup.

 

Kamaru Usman

Conor McGregor claimed last month that getting a title fight is the only realistic option for his comeback fight, and that he wants to fight UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman for a chance to make more history. His success in 2016 in winning the lightweight title made McGregor the first fighter in UFC history to possess two division titles at the same time. Nobody has ever won three UFC world titles in three different divisions and doing so would create a new triple crown and a record that is likely to stand for years to come.

 

Summary

Things move fast in the world of MMA and there are plenty of negotiations to take place before McGregor returns to action, but given his reputation, his following, and his ability, there will be a major impetus for him to face off against either a title holder or a fighter with a global reputation. And whoever that fighter is, you can be sure it will be a box office occasion.

 

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