What Will The UFC Do With Conor McGregor?
By Jack Rainbow
The UFC has a real issue with its biggest star.
The obvious summer match-up with Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje has now been lost due to Gaethje seizing the short-notice opportunity to become the interim champion over Tony Ferguson and will consequently challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov next. This has meant there are limited clear options to face off with McGregor next.
Another potential 155lb opponent, Dustin Poirer is equally matched up with surging contender Dan Hooker and is therefore out of the question for a potential July fight too, so this begs the question of what is next for the UFC’s biggest star.
There are obvious welterweight options such as Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman, but these equally seem unlikely with the consensus opinion being that Masvidal should challenge Usman for the 170lb belt.
McGregor’s vocal desire to fight on twitter makes it obvious he is itching for a chance to compete but there is a real question over what is a viable option.
Many fans and journalists alike, have clamored for the Nate Diaz trilogy next. But there are real questions over even that. Diaz has not been consistently active in recent years and seems more focused on trying to get a rematch with the aforementioned Masvidal. This therefore equally seems like it may rumble on for a while, and shows that in this current climate, McGregor lacks an obvious dance partner.
Dana White has made clear he wishes for McGregor to wait, with the boss seeing the opportunity to match him up with the winner of Nurmagomeov and Gaethje in the winter. But it seems unlikely this is something McGregor himself agrees on with.
This is evidenced with the flirtations with nonsensical bouts with opponents ranging from the retired hall of fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya to former 185lb champion Anderson Silva, proving his desire to compete.
Obviously in the coronavirus pandemic, without the option of cashing in on the famous McGregor gates, White is eager for patience. But it will be interesting to see that is something McGregor is willing to do himself. He made no secret of a wish to be as active as humanely possible in 2020, and that has not come to fruition after his 40-second win in January over Donald Cerrone.
So it will be fascinating to see how it plays out. It has appeared numerous times that the boss and the star attraction of the UFC have had differences of opinions over McGregor’s next direction, and White has made no secret of his wish for McGregor to “wait for this all to play out.”
However as the months go on, and the UFC has to further acclimatize itself to the fact that no fans will be allowed to attend the big pay-per-view events, action on McGregor’s future will need to be taken.