Exploring the potential matchups for Conor McGregor’s return
After Conor McGregor suffered a loss to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, he has expressed that he want’s to get back in the Octagon this Summer.
So when Foggy Dew hits and “The Notorious One” does make that walk to the Octagon again, who should he Fight? With Max Holloway moving up the lightweight division, it is arguably the deepest division in the company.
So let’s take a look at who Conor McGregor should fight next.
Come on, this fight should be an absolute no-brainer for the UFC to make! Although Joe Rogan stated on his podcast that the fight is off because UFC wanted to make it a co-main, I would love for this fight to still happen. After Cowboy dispatched of Alexander Hernandez at UFC Brooklyn, he called out Conor for a potential fight. Immediately after that callout Conor sent out a tweet saying “For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you. Congratulations.” This is a perfect fight to make, both men want the fight and it would be an interesting one.
Cowboy is a veteran of MMA with the most wins in UFC history, he deserves a fight this big. The press conferences would be super fun with Budweiser vs Proper 12 promoted, and after the madness of the Khabib build up this would be a nice way for Conor to ease back into contention for a title fight. It would also be interesting because Cowboy has very good jiu-jitsu, and Conor historically is not a wrestler, he’s a striker. It would be an extremely fun clash of styles and clash of personalities.
I think this would be a great fight and good win for Conor McGregor’s return.
After Ferguson turned down a fight with Max Holloway for the interim lightweight title and Dana threw cold water on the Cowboy and Conor fight, Tony was the next fighter that popped in my head to face Conor for his return. It feels like Tony Ferguson has been number one contender for years, and if Conor wants the Khabib rematch, taking out Tony is a great way to get himself back in the race towards lightweight gold. I think this would be an absolute barn burner of a scrap too, Conor is a striker and Tony loves to stand and bang.
Conor did respond to then interim champion in 2017 by posting a Grand Theft Auto style picture with the caption “Tony”. So it seemed back then that Conor was interested in fighting Ferguson, and in 2019 I think that fight would have just as much hype. I don’t understand Tony turning down the interim fight, but I do understand it if his next opponent is possibly McGregor. I think it would do a lot of buys, and would be a hugely anticipated fight for Conor’s return.
Tony Ferguson vs Conor McGregor would be a fantastic fight for both men, and the winner would most likely be number one contender for whoever is lightweight champion at the time.
Winner of Dustin Poirier vs Max Holloway
Before I talk about Conor fighting Max or Dustin, I want to talk about Dustin vs Max for a minute. I freaking love this fight! The announcement came out of absolutely nowhere shortly before UFC 235. Max Holloway is quite possibly the greatest featherweight of all-time moving up a division, and I think Dustin Poirier is criminally underrated. At the time of this writing, Dustin is a huge underdog heading into this fight, however his resume speaks for itself. He has defeated Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, and his opponent Max Holloway.
Dustin absolutely deserves this shot at the title, and with how unhappy and overlooked he has been lately, I am happy he’s been given this shot. Now let’s move on to Conor vs Dustin or Max, regardless of who wins between Max and Dustin it is a very interesting matchup for McGregor, mainly because they are both rematches. Early-on in his career, Conor defeated both Dustin and Max, Dustin by TKO in 2014 and Max in 2013 by decision. Obviously it has been many years since both of those fights, and they have all grown exponentially since their respective fights. No matter if it’s Max or Dustin, the UFC can promote this as a rematch and it would bring in money for the company.
Regardless of who it is, I can’t wait to see Conor McGregor back in the Octagon, hopefully this summer. Like him or hate him he is the biggest draw in UFC and I think many people have forgotten just how good he is. I think the loss to Khabib has lit a fire under Conor and I think the next time we see him in the Octagon we will see a hungry, and a dangerous Conor McGregor.
Everybody in the top-5 of the lightweight division is a fun fight for Conor, and UFC has several options to choose from for the return of “The Notorious One.”
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