4 Potential Next UFC Fights for Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor

Getty Conor McGregor laughs after the first round against Khabib Nurmagomedov during UFC 229.

UFC 246 is officially over, and now it’s time to look toward the future for the main event winner, Conor “Notorious” McGregor. The Notorious’ comeback fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone went as well as it could have for the Irishman. Notorious only needed forty seconds to take Cowboy out with a vicious head kick and follow-up strikes.

McGregor, who is currently ranked fourth in the UFC lightweight division, has a lot of opponents to pick from. Objectively, Notorious does such great business for the UFC that he’ll most likely pick his next match. Although there are fighters ranked higher than him in the lightweight division and the welterweight division, Notorious and UFC will choose a fight for him that will match his demands while being lucrative for the promotion.

McGregor has also teased a boxing return against either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather.

With all that in mind, here are the potential UFC fights to make for McGregor.

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Justin Gaethje

McGregor vs. Justin Gaethje is a fight that many fans have been clamoring for and could be a match to determine the next man to fight for the UFC lightweight title after Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fight at UFC 249.

There is no love lost between the two fighters, with Gaethje feeling like McGregor should have fought him instead of Cowboy at UFC 246. During the UFC 246 press conference, McGregor said that he could possibly fight on March 7 at UFC 248. If that’s the case, this fight with Gaethje makes a lot of sense.

However, McGregor may be looking to cut the line and compete for the UFC lightweight title.

Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson

UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is scheduled to defend his belt against the number one contender Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18. As many fans will recall, these two have been booked to fight each other four times. For multiple reasons, Nurmagomedov and Ferguson haven’t met in the Octagon, and if history repeats itself, an opponent will need to be booked to fight whoever isn’t pulled from the card.

McGregor has made it quite clear that he wants a rematch against the man who defeated him last, Nurmagomedov, and that he is willing to be a replacement for either of the two men if an injury is to occur. Notorious and Nurmagomedov fought at UFC 229, a fight that featured an immense amount of trash talk and had one of the most volatile builds up to a match in UFC history. The battle ended with Nurmagomedov tapping Notorious out with a neck crank, and right after that, Nurmagomedov leaped out of the cage, which started a brawl between the two camps.

McGregor and Ferguson have a history as well, with Ferguson calling McGregor out multiple times. If one of the two men scheduled for the UFC 249 main event gets injured, it shouldn’t surprise fans if McGregor gets the nod.

Many fans would argue that Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier, who are ranked number two and three respectively, should be slotted in if someone gets injured. But, with the clout that McGregor has, the UFC may choose the Irishman.

Jorge Masvidal

The UFC’s one and only BMF champ, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, flew to Las Vegas to watch UFC 246. During a press conference a few days ago, Gamebred said he would prefer to fight McGregor next over the UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman.

Masvidal had a star-defining year in the UFC, winning three fights in 2019 by spectacular fashion. He knocked out Darren Till and Ben Askren, and then he finished his year by defeating Nate Diaz to become the BMF champion.

In terms of excitement, a fight between McGregor and Masvidal is one of the biggest fights the promotion can make right now.

McGregor has mentioned Gamebred’s name a few times. During an interview with TheMacLife, McGregor did say that he was interested in Masvidal. But he also noted that Gamebred isn’t the only welterweight fight he has in mind.

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Kamaru Usman

In normal circumstances, defeating Cowboy at welterweight wouldn’t earn a fighter a title fight against UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. However, McGregor plays by his own rules, and the UFC may very well end up granting him a chance to fight for his third divisional championship. He’s already captured the UFC featherweight and lightweight belt, and McGregor is on record saying that he wants to win the welterweight belt as well.

Usman is interested in fighting McGregor. Rankings wise, it is a stretch to put these two together at this point, but when Notorious is active, the UFC may be willing to make unconventional matches.

With Tyron Woodley and Leon Edwards scheduled to fight each other on Mar. 21 in London, the only fighter free in the top five of the welterweight division is Jorge Masvidal. If McGregor decides to go another route, Masvidal and Usman are likely to throw down at a later date.

There are multiple other fights that McGregor is linked to right now. McGregor could also partake in a rematch against Dustin Poirier. And of course, a trilogy fight against Nate Diaz is always on the table.

There are a lot of options for McGregor, and if he sticks to what he said about having an active 2020, fans may see him back sooner rather than later in either the Octagon or a boxing ring

READ NEXT: 2 Potential Fights to Make for Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone

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