Saturday night’s main event at UFC 202 was a fight for the ages.
Conor McGregor defeated Nate Diaz by majority decision in a back-and-forth, five-round bout that many said was the best fight UFC has had in years, if not ever.
McGregor, the circuit’s Featherweight champion, had lost to Diaz in March at UFC 196 in a 170-pound match. The Irishman vowed to get revenge and did so Saturday night, which was once again in the Welterweight division.
With the victory, McGregor improved to 20-3 all-time in MMA events. So what’s on deck for the 28-year-old?
While we don’t know when or who McGregor will square off with next, there are a couple of scenarios we can dissect.
During and after the fight, social media was blowing up with calls for McGregor-Diaz 3. After all, the head-to-head match up is tied 1-1 and the rubber match would be satisfy everyone — the fans and the money brought in by UFC would be off the charts. There’s even a #McGregorDiaz3 hashtag on Twitter.
UFC President Dana White shot the trilogy down quickly, though, saying it wasn’t in the cards right now.
UFC’s verified Twitter account did perhaps tease to the third fight down the road:
But that fight doesn’t need to happen now and it won’t. McGregor isn’t expected to stay at 170 pounds. He told reporters after Saturday night’s fight:
I’m going to go back down in weight. I’m the 145-pound champion and the 155-pound (division) is there. When I fight Nate again it will be at 155 pounds, it will be on my terms this time. I came up, I didn’t make any excuses to get this win back. I said 170, he got even bigger from the first fight. He got even bigger than the first time. I knew I was up against it.
McGregor is the Featherweight champion and he’s going to defend that title at 145 pounds or vacate it, according to White, at least.
If McGregor drops the weight, there’s the possibility he defends his title against Jose Aldo. McGregor and Aldo met in UFC 194 in December 2015 and if you blinked, you might have missed the fight. McGregor KO’d Aldo in 13 seconds.
UFC 205 is coming to New York City in November. Do you think UFC wants their biggest draw participating on the biggest stage? That question doesn’t need to be answered. Expect McGregor to have an opponent for Madison Square Garden.
But for now, nothing is known. Even McGregor doesn’t know what’s next after telling reporters in a post-fight press conference:
We got a lot to talk about and I’m in a beautiful, beautiful position right now. And that was built through hard work and I’m going to capitalize on that. We’ll see. There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline. (Expletive) is about to hit the fan here.
So we’re just going to have to sit back and wait.
Though there is one fight we shouldn’t expect to see — McGregor vs. Brock Lesnar. The two have exchanged words recently and Lesnar even challenged McGregor to a fight. But, again, that’s never happening.
Well, not in the UFC Octagon. But in the WWE’s Squared Circle? That’s a conversation for another day.
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