Presented in partnership with OddscheckerUS
It has been an interesting 14 months for Connor McGregor since his last fight. After all the talk and troubles outside of the octagon, he made his return.
Going into UFC 246, Vegas had him as the clear favorite against Donald Cowboy Cerrone as he was a -334 favorite, it only took him 40 seconds to prove them right.
So now what’s next for the former featherweight and lightweight champion?
In his post-match interview, McGregor didn’t call any out specifically, but he did say “anyone can get it.”
So who should “get it?”
The obvious answer is a rematch against Khabib. He’s the current UFC lightweight champion and last person to beat McGregor, and no doubt after the debacle at the end of that fight, these two would love to get at one another.
This week, there is already so much buzz around that possibility that there are already odds for the fight. According to Oddschecker, McGregor is an underdog at +229 to Nurmagomedov’s -316. There’s no real timeline for this fight as Khabib is preparing for his fight against Tony Ferguson on April 18th in Brooklyn. In that fight, Khabib sits as the favorite at -200 to Ferguson’s +187. What happens if Ferguson pulls off the upset? Is the new fight automatically McGregor-Ferguson?
No doubt Khabib is not looking to disappoint.
Another option is Jorge Masvidal. The “BMF” title holder was in attendance for UFC 246 to watch McGregor vs. Cerrone and was shown during McGregor’s post-fight interview.
Masvidal was wearing the same Versace robe that McGregor wore in the lead-up to his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, he’s obviously calling out McGregor.
McGregor seemed to take a subliminal shot at Masvidal during his post-fight interview.
“I knew he wasn’t expecting that level change…I’m so happy. UFC can strip fighters and give fighters make-believe belts but they can’t take away knockout finishes.” Possibly referring to Masvidal’s “BMF” title.
Previously UFC President Dana White doubted McGregor could fight as a welterweight, but during his post-UFC 246 interview, he changed his opinion.
I was blown away,” White said. He looked unbelievable. You won’t hear another peep out of me about fighting at 170. I know that there’s always critics, and there’s always somebody that has an opinion. People are going to say that Cowboy was shot, which is total bull(expletive), and Conor McGregor came out, he looked fast, he hit hard, he had a gameplan, and he finished a real tough kid who came to win.”
Let’s look at another option that thrown out there during UFC 246.
“Let’s go, Nathan. Let’s go, brother. Number three, it’s always here. So, it’s right here Nathan.” McGregor said during a post-conference interview referring to Nate Diaz.
These two have an incredible history. Diaz is responsible for McGregor’s first professional loss with a second-round submission in March 2016, in the re-match in July of that year, McGregor won with a majority decision.
A trilogy is something that would want to see. We know Diaz’s opinion.
UFC President Dana White expressed he prefers McGregor-Khabib 2 as he said in his UFC 246 post-interview.
If Conor and Masvidal fight, neither one of them even have a title, although Conor does want his BMF title,” White said. But he doesn’t have a world championship, so Khabib’s the fight to make. It’s huge for Khabib’s legacy, too. I mean, if he beats Conor McGregor, then he beats Tony Ferguson, then he beats Conor McGregor again, this is how this kid, when he retires, he’s 30-something and 0, and he’s beat all the best. Me, you and everybody else knows that’s the fight to make. That’s the fight. The (other) fight is Masvidal and Usman.”
McGregor has expressed he wants to fight three times this year. How, when and who is are the questions that need to be answered. One thing is for sure, the return of McGregor has peaked a lot of people’s intrigued.