Conor McGregor has tons of options in terms of potential opponents after defeating Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 in Las Vegas over the weekend.
McGregor, 31, from Dublin, Ireland, looked sensational in the Irishman’s 40-second drubbing of Cerrone at T-Mobile Arena and now it appears to have another big fight in his sights. In fact, UFC president Dana White revealed to TMZ Sports after the bout was over that McGregor was already thinking about another MMA superfight.
“Conor (McGregor) wants Khabib (Nurmagomedov),” said White. “Conor always has a lot of options. He wants Khabib, that’s the fight he wants, and we’ll see what happens. … I think Khabib makes sense, too.”
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UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomevod defeated McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018 via fourth-round submission. But McGregor returned to vintage form on Saturday night against Cerrone, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he wanted to prioritize the Nurmagomedov rematch over all other options.
That sure seems to be what White believes McGregor wants next.
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McGregor’s knockout win at UFC 246 was his first victory in the UFC since defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016 to become the company’s first double champion.
McGregor also made history against Cerrone on Saturday night by becoming the first UFC fighter ever to score knockouts in the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions.
McGregor Hasn’t Yet Revealed Next Opponent
While White believes McGregor’s next opponent will be Nurmagomedov, McGregor hasn’t yet revealed whether he’s ruled out any of the other various options he has for later this year. After all, McGregor seems interested in returning to the boxing ring to face either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao in the near future and also seems intent on challenging welterweights Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz or UFC champ Kamaru Usman, too.
McGregor already faced both Mayweather and Diaz. Mayweather defeated McGregor in August 2017 via 10th round stoppage in a crossover boxing event that became the second best-selling PPV event ever.
Meanwhile, McGregor and Diaz split fights in 2016, so some believe a trilogy could be in order.
As for Masvidal and Usman, McGregor said both welterweights were on his radar both before and after UFC 246. Beyond those fights, lightweight contender Justin Gaethje could also be an option for McGregor.
Why Nurmagomedov Might Make Most Sense
Beyond the simple fact that the two fighters have such bad blood between each other, the most obvious reasons McGregor would likely want to target the Nurmagomedov rematch over other options is because it would give him the chance to avenge his 2018 loss and would offer him the most amount of money he could possibly make inside the Octagon.
After all, McGregor’s first fight against Nurmagomedov was the best-selling UFC PPV event in history, and McGregor’s fantastic performance against Cerrone would help sell the idea that McGregor could shock the world by defeating the champion.
Nurmagomedov, 31, from Dagestan, Russia, is undefeated as an MMA fighter and ranked No. 2 in the UFC’s official pound-for-pound rankings. In his last fight, Nurmagomevod defeated Dustin Poirer at UFC 242 in September via third-round submission.