UFC megastar Conor McGregor returned to action at UFC 246 in January after 15 months away from the sport, and it seems as if there are new potential opponents expressing interest in facing the Irishman next just about every single day.
But the latest potential opponent might be the biggest superstar of all. Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently confirmed to TMZ Sports that he’d be interested in fighting McGregor again if there was enough money on the table.
“Man, sh*t,” Mayweather said per TMZ Sports. “If they pay, I’m there to play.”
Mayweather defeated McGregor inside a boxing ring in August 2017. It was the second best-selling boxing pay-per-view event ever, trailing only Mayweather’s 2015 superfight against Manny Pacquiao. While McGregor has been adamant about rematching Mayweather, the semi-retired boxing champion has gone back and forth on the matter whenever asked.
But Mayweather’s latest words make it seem as if the rematch is a legitimate possibility. Moreover, it seems as if Mayweather-McGregor 2 could happen as soon as later this year.
“And if they’re paying cash, Conor (McGregor) I’ll whip your ass,” Mayweather said per TMZ Sports. “Again.”
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Conor McGregor’s List of Options Keeps Growing
Floyd Mayweather isn’t the only fighter interested in facing Conor McGregor. In fact, McGregor isn’t even the only boxing champion who wants the fight. WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao recently signed with Paradigm Sports, the same company that manages McGregor. Additionally, the potential McGregor vs. Pacquiao fight has been talked about more than any other boxing match featuring McGregor, including his long-desired rematch against Mayweather.
Moreover, WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford would take the fight, at least that’s what Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum told boxing writer Michael Woods about the matter.
But the fights UFC fans probably desire most for the 31-year-old would all take place inside the Octagon. While ESPN’s Ariel Helwani named Justin Gaethje and Nate Diaz as the likely frontrunners last week, ESPN’s other UFC experts believe McGregor’s included some different names on their lists, including Diaz, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jorge Masvidal.
Numagomedov defeated McGregor by fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in October 2018. The UFC lightweight champion’s next title defense comes against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April. Should Ferguson pull the upset, McGregor vs the new champion could also factor into things.
Is Justin Gaethje Most Likely Next Opponent?
Of all the possibilities, lightweight contender Justin Gaethje probably makes the most sense for various reasons. First, McGregor wants to fight three times during 2020, so he needs to get his next opponent lined up well before UFC 249 is settled.
Second, Gaethje is a dangerous and respected lightweight contender, but his aggressive style is also a perfect fit for McGregor’s counterstriking.
Finally, neither Gaethje and McGregor have any other fight lined up. The UFC could announce the fight during the promotional push for Nurmagomedov-Ferguson with the idea that the winners of Nurmagomedov-Ferguson and McGregor-Gaethje would face each other next.