Who’s next for Conor McGregor? Weighing the options for the 2-division champ
Once again, Conor McGregor has silenced his critics and proved he is among the best fighters ever to enter the Octagon.
After knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, McGregor has become the first UFC fighter to hold two belts at once.
In addition to the lightweight belt he took from Alvarez, McGregor also holds the featherweight belt.
The thing fight fans want to know now is where The Notorious goes from here.
Here are some of the potential fights that McGregor could take next.
These two have already fought two great fights. Diaz beat McGregor by submission at UFC 196, and McGregor got his revenge at UFC 202, defeating Diaz by majority decision. In both fights, Diaz proved that he is the one fighter that McGregor has fought since his rise to superstardom that can give him some trouble. Diaz’s length, grappling skills and chin of steel make this the most difficult challenge for McGregor’s next fight. Fans want to see the trilogy, and it would undoubtedly be the biggest payday of both fighter’s careers.
In the co-main event at UFC 205, Tyron Woodley had the first successful defense of his welterweight title. In a matchup that earned “Fight of the Night,” Woodley retained his belt with a majority draw against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. It would be a monumental task for McGregor to fight two divisions above his normal weight class, but it would be a very compelling fight between two of the best power strikers in the UFC. Lots of fight fans would love to see these two match up, including Joe Rogan. If McGregor could beat Woodley, that would mean he would own titles in three weight classes. It seems inconceivable that one fighter could be that talented, but McGregor is storming through the UFC like no one ever has before.
This entire Mayweather vs. McGregor beef at times seems like one giant publicity stunt, but then at the same time gets everyone thinking that this could be for real. After Conor’s knockout victory at UFC 205, Mayweather, who insisted he didn’t even know about the fight, threw shade at Conor, saying it is a sign of total disrespect to compare his boxing accomplishments to Conor’s UFC success. McGregor responded twice, telling McGregor to “say it to my face,” and also going off on him at a nightclub on Tuesday night, demanding $100 million to box Floyd since he won’t foot in the Octagon with him.
McGregor said “Floyd’s not ready for this. Much respect for Floyd. He’s a solid businessman on what he’s been able to do. He’s a fucking animal at what he’s been able to do. But as far as real fighting, as far as true, pure unarmed combat, Floyd don’t want none of this.” These two are never shy to give their opinion, so they will keep going back and forth. Will a boxing/UFC fight every truly come about? Probably not. But if it does, it will for sure be the biggest PPV fight ever since it is colliding both worlds. The payday would be nothing like McGregor has ever seen.
Some fans may wonder why Aldo should have another shot at McGregor after The Notorious knocked him out cold in just 13 seconds the first time these two met at UFC 194. There are two reasons that this fight should happen. One is that it gives McGregor a chance to prove his skeptics wrong who claim that his knockout of Aldo was a fluke. Also, the loss to McGregor was the only loss that Aldo has suffered in the last decade. A track record like that means he deserves a chance at a rematch no matter how bad his loss was in the first fight.
The Russian put on one of the most impressive performances at UFC 205, submitting Michael Johnson in the third round to improve his MMA record to 24-0. Although his record is impressive, this fight has little shot of happening until Nurmagomedov gets a few more fights under his belt. His win over Johnson was the Dagestani Cowboy’s first fight since April 2014, and McGregor say he wants to see him fight more before they meet up.
No matter what McGregor’s next fight is, it is sure to be entertaining. He has become the most polarizing and popular figure in MMA history, and all of his fights are must-see events. He is scheduled to take some time off next year with the birth of his first child expected in May. Hopefully, fans will get to see him fight once early next year before he takes a break.