Who will Conor McGregor fight next?
Never a dull moment in the world of former UFC two-division champion. With quick disposal of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. The question now on everyone’s lips is, who will Conor McGregor fight next? And with a relative who’s who (that’s a lot of who’s!) of current and former champions throwing their names in the hat. We need to take a closer look at what exactly is going on in this topsy turvy world of the UFC.
Well first and foremost, one of the main issues when it comes to McGregor fighting is the fact that he could potentially be doing it in an empty venue. And its something that the UFC President Dana White already eluded to in a recent interview. Saying essentially that a Conor McGregor fight needs a live crowd. Of course, the underlying meaning behind that statement is the UFC wants or needs that gate revenue.
While at this moment it financially pains them to be having any fights without a crowd in attendance. What would a Conor McGregor fight look like without fans? Let’s just say very strange indeed! So with that being said, what does it mean for one of the many potential matchups that are being thrown around right now?
Following the success in his fighting against Cowboy Cerrone at 170 lbs. The current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman‘s name has been thrown into the mix. While Usman himself has been pretty dismissive of Conor at the welterweight limit, not so much his manager. Ali Abdelaziz recently took to social media offering McGregor the opportunity to fight for the 170 lb title.
Making Usman vs McGregor, a reality?
But the one issue with this is, Ali does not make fights. I’m sure he can try to block a fight or he can throw his weight behind a name. But in the grand scheme of things, Abdelaziz is not a matchmaker. That is the job of the UFC and the final decision on what opponent steps in against McGregor inevitably lies with them.
I’ll put my neck out there and say the reality of the situation is that Ali is confident in his champions abilities. And of course sees the McGregor fight as a huge payday, both for himself and Kamaru. Get Usman in the octagon, get the money and get out still holding the title. But it’s a risky play if he thinks the champion will simply walk through the Irishman, who has a habit of upsetting peoples best-laid plans.
But it may be a step too far for Conor McGregor. He is a fighter who made his name at featherweight and lightweight. Only taking a welterweight fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 196, when Nate making the weight was an issue. And now he’s making a legit run at the 170 lb title?
We have to remember that many of these welterweights could fight at middleweight. And in making the cut to 170, go on to bulk up closer to the middleweight limit come fight night. Conor is a small dude, I have stood beside him and he is small. And he can just about push the welterweight limit! Cerrone while tall is also someone who for the vast majority of his career competed at lightweight, same with Nate Diaz.
So this idea that McGregor can simply push the envelope and fight whoever they put in front of him. While seeming like a pretty cool notion, somewhere along the way becomes unrealistic. And that leads us to the next rumour being bandied about.
How about Conor McGregor vs Anderson Silva?
It’s a fight Anderson was calling for some time back. Why? Because it’s a big money fight. There’s no actual rhyme or reason to it other than that. And while the actual spectacle of seeing these two go at it inside the octagon would be surreal. In the cold hard light of day, it really doesn’t make any sense at all.
Anderson wants that payday. Conor is out to cement his legacy and if he was to win, it would be a huge feather in his cap. Regardless of the fact that Silva is only a shadow of his former self. The history books will show that willing to take on anyone, Conor met one of the greatest fighters to ever live at “X” weight and won.
While for Anderson he could add a huge scalp to his collection. And ride off into the sunset with several additional millions in his bank account.
When it comes to McGregor, it feels in some ways we are gone past the point of the UFC being seen as a legitimate sport. Where the best fighters fight one another in their respective divisions. As for when it comes to Conor, who is by all accounts a special case, really anything goes.
Can you imagine say in boxing, a Gennady Golovkin jumping into the heavyweight division for a tear up with former champion Deontay Wilder? It would be a spectacle that’s for sure, it would make absolutely zero sense. But hey, we got to see two great fighters regardless of the huge weight disparity go at it.
What about the other guys?
With all the noise Jorge Masvidal had been making, we might have thought he would get a piece of the McGregor pie. Being one of the most deserving candidates for a welterweight title shot. In a fair and just world, Conor should have to go through a top contender before being offered a fight against the champion.
But this is not fair or just, this is the Conor McGregor show. And in the same way, he got an immediate lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez. The rule book, if there ever was one! Gets summarily torn up whenever his name is brought into the mix. It’s such a powerful and unique situation to be in and really is only ever afforded to very few.
And with the name of former two-time opponent Nate Diaz being bandied around in relation to a Masvidal rematch. It’s really anyone’s guess how this all will all play out. Would the UFC be ruthless enough to push the number one lightweight contender Justin Gaethje off to the side and offer that spot to Conor? Well, as Gaethje has earned that right, we would certainly hope not. But it’s really up to how the UFC want the next few months to play out.
Let us not forget the small issue of a worldwide pandemic hanging over us all. Will the UFC be able to get Fight Island up and running and somehow hosting large arena type events. While the rest of the sports world teeters in limbo with empty stadiums? It’s a very strange time for all concerned and will be fascinating to finally see how it all plays out. If I were a gambling man I still would not put any money down, as there’s really no precedent for this madness.
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