Whether you love him or hate him, Conor McGregor is still the UFC’s biggest star and since his victorious return in January, the world has waited anxiously for the reveal of his next opponent.
Nearly two million people bought the PPV to watch McGregor take out Cowboy in just 40 seconds. Two million! To put that in perspective, UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2 only reeled in roughly 450,000 PPV buys.
In the past, UFC President Dana White has publicly disclosed his desire for a Khabib and Conor rematch. Though that will likely not be happening right away as most expect Justin Gaethje to get the next crack at the undefeated lightweight champ.
So if it’s not Khabib, who is it?
Option A: Jorge Masvidal
Make no mistake, Jorge Masvidal deserves a chance to fight for the welterweight title more than anyone, but he has said many times that he wants the biggest “money” fight possible. Well, Conor McGregor fits that bill more than anyone and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to see these two square off in the octagon.
Stylistically, it’s hard to imagine this not being an entertaining stand-up brawl. Dana has said previously that Masvidal is too “big” for Conor, which would be more true if the fight was held at welterweight. I don’t see that being that huge advantage for Masvidal though because the size discrepancy isn’t that vast. Regardless, these two would go to war inside the cage and everyone would watch.
Why not have it be the inaugural main event on fight island?
Option B: Nate Diaz
The McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy fight has to happen at some point right, so why not have it now?
Nate isn’t getting any younger and fans are dying to see who wins the rubber match between these two bitter rivals. Both of the previous fights were ultra competitive, with Diaz earning the only finish (rear naked choke), which came in the first fight.
The two willing trash talkers have been taking jabs on social media which has led to speculation, but Dana has denied that the fight is in the works. Expect things can change though, because if a fight can’t be made with Masvidal the next biggest bout to make would be the trilogy with Diaz.
Option C: Dustin Poirier
Since losing to Khabib back last fall, Dustin Poirier has put his name in the ring many times in hopes of scoring a big fight. So far nothing has come of it; however there’s still a chance for Poirier to avenge his loss to Conor after all this time.
Many people forget that Poirier and Conor fought back in 2014, with “The Notorious” scoring a knockout near the end of the first round. Both guys have improved so much since then that it’s almost pointless to take anything from that fight though.
Poirier has even said he would venture up to welterweight to take on McGregor if that’s what it takes. Still, coming off a loss to Khabib along with a pretty lengthy lay-off, Poirier is clearly not the first option for the sport’s biggest star.
Tony Ferguson’s name is not mentioned because he received a medical suspension of at least two months and if he and his team are smart they would take some time until at least September or October to return.
Colby Covington is not on the list of possibilities due to his medical suspensions from his loss to Kamaru Usman back in December. He also broke his jaw in that fight and like Ferguson, he should not rush back.
It’s hard to imagine Conor McGregor not fighting this summer and Dana White has said recently that fight island is being built and should be operational in June. Do not be surprised if we see Conor McGregor headline the first card on fight island. Stay tuned.