UFC superstar Conor McGregor might have just retired in June, but nobody expects the 32-year-old to stay that way for long. After all, McGregor has retired three times in the last four years, and he’s come back to fight each and every other time.
So here are the three biggest, best and most likely next opponents for the world’s biggest MMA superstar should the “Notorious” McGregor return to the UFC’s Octagon as soon as everyone hopes.
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Biggest: Jorge Masvidal
There’s no doubt that facing Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal would be a massive superfight. Sure, Masvidal is a legit welterweight, but he’s also one of the biggest draws in the sport in 2020. Look no further than how many more PPVs the addition of Masvidal on just six days’ notice sold at UFC 251.
UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal sold 1.3 million pay-per-view units, which made that event the fourth-best selling UFC pay-per-view event in history.
The top three UFC PPV events all featured McGregor, as did one of the two other fights UFC 251 was tied with for fourth place.
We can reasonably assume the biggest fight that could possibly be made in the UFC in 2020 or 2021 would be McGregor vs. Masvidal.
Best: Nate Diaz
This one’s easy. McGregor and Nate Diaz have already combined for two of the most epic throwdowns in UFC history, and it’s high time fans got to see their third encounter.
Diaz and McGregor split fights back in 2016, and both were action-packed melees of epic proportions. Diaz submitted McGregor in the first fight, but the Irishman outworked the brawling 170-pound contender over five rounds to nab the decision win in the rematch.
It’s already one of the best rivalries in UFC history, and a third fight would only make things that much better.
McGregor vs. Diaz 3 is the best fight on the Irishman’s horizon.
Most Likely: Khabib Nurmagomedov
McGregor badly wants a rematch against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. One might even assume McGregor retired in frustration after being skipped over for the chance after UFC interim lightweight champ Justin Gaethje grabbed his newfound gold at UFC 249 against Tony Ferguson.
But the Nurmagomedov-McGregor rematch seems inevitable at this point. Their first fight was the best-selling UFC pay-per-view event in the history of the sport. The second fight figures to sell even more pay-per-views than the first and McGregor has consistently claimed over the years since losing via fourth-round submission back in 2018 that he didn’t train properly for that fight.
Even if that’s not true, it has to bother Nurmagomedov that he’s saying it.
Of course, Nurmagomedov is set to face Gaethje first. But Nurmagomedov figures to be the heavy favorite in the fight whenever it happens and assuming he knocks off Gaethje as most pundits expect, there’s not really any other intriguing fight out there for Nurmagomedov that the UFC would want to make over the McGregor rematch.
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