The UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, has been inactive since October 2018.
When he last fought, it was against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title and he lost via fourth-round submission.
At this point, the question that so many are asking is, who could be next for the Irish superstar?
Here’s a list of guys who I believe could be his next opponent:
5. Tony Ferguson:
Now hear me out on this… I know many people just want to see the Khabib and Ferguson fight at this point. For good reason, too. But Ferguson has expressed interest in fighting McGregor on numerous occasions. He called him out after his win over Kevin Lee at UFC 216. He’s called him out many times on Twitter and made it apparent that the only two fights for him were Khabib or Conor.
Dublin, December 14th.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 16, 2019
As of late, Ferguson and McGregor have both expressed interest in having their next respective fights in December. McGregor has sent out a cryptic tweet via Twitter regarding a bout on December 14th (the same day as UFC 245 in Las Vegas). As for Tony, he has called for his title fight with Khabib to be at UFC 245 in Vegas. But we have all witnessed that fight fall through on numerous occasions, including Dana White, who may be reluctant to book it.
As for the fight itself, we ALL know that this one would be incredible. Tony Ferguson is as game a fighter as they come and is currently riding a 12-fight win streak. Conor is a very high-level striker and plays the same mental warfare game that Tony plays.
This would make for a very interesting dynamic.
4. Jorge Masvidal:
Jorge Masvidal has jumped through the portal into UFC stardom lately. He has been in the game a very long time and in 2019, has reached the height of his career, presumably. With back-to-back wins via knockout over Darren Till and formerly undefeated wrestler Ben Askren, Masvidal has been on fire lately.
After his win over Ben Askren at UFC 239, Masvidal called for a fight with Conor McGregor. At a recent UFC media day, reporters asked Dana White what he thought about a potential Masvidal-McGregor super fight. White basically said that he felt Masvidal was too big for McGregor and he wouldn’t be looking to make the fight. Shortly after that, they had another presser and White said that Conor wasn’t too happy that he said that.
— malki kawa (@malkikawa) August 15, 2019
McGregor has spoken out on the matter, too. In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, McGregor mentioned White’s comments about the potential Masvidal fight. He didn’t seem all too pleased about it either.
I definitely think that a McGregor-Masvidal fight could happen. Both guys are fan favorites in the sport and aren’t afraid to speak their mind on anything. Masvidal comes with explosive hands and ninja-like flying knees. Conor comes with a very unpredictable striking style and a deadly left hand.
The winner of Masvidal-Diaz at UFC 244 could very likely be next for McGregor.
3. Nate Diaz:
Nate Diaz sat out for the past three years and many people thought he would never come back. Many people said that he would never fight again unless it was the McGregor trilogy.
He was supposed to have a fight vs. Dustin Poirier last year but it fell through. He just recently returned and put on a great performance vs. Anthony Pettis at UFC 241.
— The Mac Life (@TheMacLife) August 23, 2019
Surprisingly, he didn’t call out McGregor after the fight. He called out Masvidal. But I do believe that he would still be game for another fight with McGregor, if he were sent the contract for it. McGregor actually made a post on his Instagram after Nate’s fight, congratulating him but throwing a bit of shade, too. He said he didn’t blame Nate for not calling him out post-fight, called himself too ‘Vicious’ in there.
I think this one is very likely to happen if Nate gets through Masvidal at UFC 244.
2. Dustin Poirier:
Poirier is just coming off a third-round submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.
Days after the fight, he called out Conor McGregor for a rematch. He said he thought now would be the perfect time for a rematch. McGregor actually responded to Poirier’s callout, referencing the way Poirier acted towards him in the build-up to their first fight and how he paid for his trash talk.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 18, 2019
I also believe that now is the perfect time to make the rematch. Dustin and Conor both lost to Khabib and are pretty much out of the title picture. Both have great striking and are motivated to fight each other.
We need to see this fight.
1. Justin Gaethje:
……and last BUT NOT LEAST…..the top pick of the evening….JUSTIN THE HIGHLIGHT GAETHJE!
This is the perfect time for this fight. The timing has never been better. I have actually been calling for this fight to happen since the conclusion of Khabib-McGregor last October. And it still hasn’t happened, I’m sad about it.
Now, Gaethje is coming off 3 first-round knockouts in a row. In his last three, he has knocked out James Vick, Edson Barboza and Cowboy Cerrone. Madness. Crazy.
I’ve been waiting for a reply. pic.twitter.com/zz1EBwXykY
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) September 17, 2019
Leading up to his fight with Cowboy, he was mentioning McGregor’s name and saying he would love to fight him. McGregor hasn’t responded at all yet but lets all make a wish to the MMA Gods. Make a wish now and tell them to grant us with the absolute masterpiece that this fight would be.
I can just see it now. Picture this… Gaethje’s very-much improved striking, explosive hands and Octagon backflips vs. McGregor’s mysterious aura, mental warfare and time-stopping left hand.
This is the fight to make ladies and gentleman!
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The Scrap’s Kevin Mahoney is a college graduate from Salem State University who loves to write, make music, and watch MMA. Make sure to follow Kevin on Twitter (@KeysRealTalk) and listen to his Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast every Wednesday on BlogTalkRadio.