Who Will Conor McGregor Fight Next?
We haven’t seen Conor McGregor in a UFC cage since Khabib Nurmagomedov proved to him that there was a new King in town at UFC 229 last October.
A suspension from the post-fight melee and then a hand injury sustained in training means we are yet to see a McGregor return.
It seems incredible that McGregor hasn’t won a fight since November 2016, his demolition of Eddie Alvarez to become a two-division UFC champ was the last time McGregor had his hand raised.
Despite what McGregor has achieved, he badly needs a win in his next fight. Another defeat could mean the end, but his next opponent is still very much in doubt.
Throughout his UFC career McGregor has largely called the shots, but for the first time in his UFC run, he is waiting on others. Scheduled fights over the coming weeks and months will largely determine who McGregor faces when he makes his next walk to the Octagon.
Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier meet at UFC 242 in September, and McGregor facing the winner can’t be ruled out.
But with Tony Ferguson waiting in the wings and long overdue a title shot, I don’t see McGregor being gifted another title opportunity without getting a win prior. Ferguson is by far the most deserving of facing the winner out of Nurmagomedov vs Poirier, and he should be allowed his chance.
I think Nurmagomedov will get past Poirier, and will then face Ferguson.
Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis meet in a few weeks, McGregor facing the winner of this bout is much more likely. The Diaz trilogy fight is a natural after the first two fights, and with Pettis having the style to please and excite, a fight with McGregor could be something very special.
Donald Cerrone has long wanted a fight with McGregor, and if he gets past Justin Gaethje also in September, he may get his wish. But Gaethje is favoured to beat Cerrone, and a fight with Gaethje and McGregor has violence written all over it.
Jorge Masvidal is currently riding a career high wave of momentum, and if he doesn’t get a title shot, he also could be in line, but as with Diaz/Pettis, McGregor would be wise to avoid a welterweight fight.
Predicting anything with UFC matchmaking is exceedingly risky, but my money would be on McGregor facing either the winner of Diaz or Pettis or who comes out on top between Cerrone and Gaethje.
Diaz and Pettis is an even fight with the bookies, but I think Pettis wins it, and I also believe Gaethje beats Cerrone. While I wouldn’t totally rule out Masvidal getting the gig, I think it will be either Pettis or Gaethje who will welcome McGregor back to competition.