What’s next for Conor McGregor?


Who should Conor McGregor face next? Photo by Andrius Petrucenia

Brandon Mikel, Sports Writer

It only took 40 seconds for Conor McGregor to remind everyone that he’s still one of the best fighters in the world. 

Welcome back, champ. It was the perfect Cinderella story. McGregor comes back, has an amazing performance against  Donald Cerrone and proceeds to call out anyone and everyone in the UFC. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think “The Notorious” is here to stay. With that being said, there is a long list of contenders and champions that are lining up to face off against the Irish superstar. 

From the realistic fights to the not-so-realistic ones, let’s take a look at who may stand across McGregor next. 

Most Probable Scenarios

Jorge Masvidal

Stylistically, this is a terrible match-up for McGregor. But, what McGregor wants McGregor gets. Masvidal might be the hottest fighter in the UFC at the moment. He walked into the O2 Arena and destroyed Darren Till, flatlined Ben Askren and then claims himself as the BMF by taking out Nate Diaz, and that’s what makes this fight that much more interesting. Two of the UFC’s biggest stars facing off. As much as I disagree, this is the next fight to make.

Probability: 9/10

Justin Gaethje

Before McGregor fought Cerrone, I would’ve thought you were crazy if you said this fight was going to happen next. Then I slept on it and I thought why not? This fight was initially offered to McGregor in the past, and you can make a case that both fighters deserve a title shot next. So, could this possibly mean McGregor vs. Gaethje will be next for an interim belt? The belt doesn’t make sense, but the UFC will do anything to add a couple of dollars to their pockets. A fight that has bad blood and a shiny belt on the line? Dana White would have a tough time turning that down.

Probability: 8/10

Nate Diaz

If there’s one fight that needs to be made for the fans, it’s Diaz vs. McGregor 3. This fight doesn’t make sense when it comes to rankings, but half of the fights that have happened in the past year haven’t made sense anyway, so why not add another one to the mix? The first two fights were barnburners and are considered two of the most iconic fights in UFC history. 

It’s 1-1 and a tiebreaker is very necessary.

Probability: 6/10

I mean, anything is possible… right?

Winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson

Before you freak out, you have to realize where I’m coming from. I’m talking about what’s next for McGregor. We all know this fight will happen eventually but next fight? Unless someone gets injured, McGregor will not fight either one next. Even if the Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov fight happens, McGregor will not wait a whole year just to get the title shot against the winner. As I said, this fight will happen eventually, just not when you think. 

Probability 5/10

Dustin Poirier

The only reason why this fight makes sense is that it could be a war – a stand-up match between two southpaws with a cannon for a left hand. Poirier is the ranked second in the UFC lightweight division, so this might give McGregor some incentives while Poirier is still looking for that rematch against the “Notorious” one.

Probability: 3/10

Max Holloway

A few months ago this fight would’ve made a lot more sense. Holloway was the featherweight king and was slowly erasing McGregor’s name from the record books. Now the landscape is a little bit different. Holloway is no longer the champ and he is currently pushing for a rematch against Alexander Volkanovski. As much as I want to see this fight again, I know there are other opportunities that McGregor will take before he takes a shot at “Blessed.”

Probability: 3/10 

Yeah, keep dreaming

Kamaru Usman

This is not happening… at least not for now. There are too many contenders at 170 and I would much rather see an Usman vs. Covington rematch before I ever want to see McGregor move up to face “The Nigerian Nightmare.” McGregor would have a problem with the size and Dana White would not make the fight until he beats a legitimate welterweight. Usman vs Masvidal is a yes, Usman vs McGregor is a no.

Probability: 1/10

Alexander Volkanovski

This is another case of McGregor trying to move to another weight division to capture a belt. I really would like this fight. There aren’t too many guys that have proved they deserve a title shot besides Holloway and “The Korean Zombie” but neither one of those fights creates a buzz like a McGregor vs Volkanovski. Think about it, McGregor reclaims his featherweight throne and receives his rematch against the greatest featherweight of all time, Holloway. The only reason why I see none of that happening though is because I don’t think McGregor wants to cut to 145 anymore. He’s just too big now and the fact that McGregor wanted the Cowboy fight at 170 proves that he is over the whole weight cutting thing.

Probability: 1/10

George St. Pierre

Yeah, this isn’t happening.

Probability: 0/10