One of the biggest discussions in mixed martial arts is who Conor “Notorious” McGregor’s next opponent will be. It’s unclear who the Irishman will take on next in the UFC, but it has been reported that he may have a boxing match coming up next year.
A potential boxing match between McGregor and Manny Pacquiao has been a hot discussion since January when Notorious revealed that there were talks of the two fighting. And a boxing insider has confirmed that these talks are still continuing, and that there’s a plan for the two competitors to meet in 2021.
When talking about McGregor and Pacquiao during a recent “Big Fight Weekend” podcast episode, ESPN’s Steve Kim said, “You know, I’m gonna be bold. I say that it happens next year in 2021. I’ve actually been told that’s the plan.”
He continued, “Now, look, Manny has a way of changing his mind quite liberally, but there’s a reason why he signed with [Paradigm]. Look, the ‘M’ in Manny stands for ‘Mercenary.’ He wants to make the biggest score — he’s probably searching now for events that can bring him 9-figure paydays. What else is out there that is considered relatively safe, that could procure that type of payday. From a theoretical standpoint, it could be Connor McGregor.”
It was announced in February that Pacquiao had signed with Paradigm Sports Management — the management firm also represents McGregor.
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Conor McGregor Is Currently Linked to Multiple UFC Fighters for His Next Bout
Even though virtually all sporting leagues and events have been canceled due to public health concerns, the UFC is adamant that it will continue to run events. Although the promotion has postponed its last three events, UFC 249 is still scheduled to take place on April 18. However, the location is unknown and the main event is in serious jeopardy.
If the fight between UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson is canceled, and the promotion decides to reschedule the match further down the line, McGregor may find himself fighting No. 4 ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje, with the winner likely being guaranteed the shot at the winner of Khabib and Ferguson.
If The Eagle and El Cucuy do end up fighting on April 18, the UFC may just decide to pit McGregor against the winner anyway.
It’s Highly Unlikely That McGregor Will Step in for UFC 249
When it was revealed that Khabib may not be able to fight on April 18 because of travel bans placed by his home country of Russia, many looked to McGregor as a possible replacement to fight Ferguson. But the Irishman is highly unlikely to step in to fight Ferguson at UFC 249 as Ireland has its own restrictions on travel, and the logistics behind getting McGregor to the Octagon may be insurmountable.
Notorious’ longtime coach John Kavanagh recently said that he didn’t believe it was the right decision for the UFC to put on an event right now and that there’s no chance that McGregor would fight at UFC 249.