It’s an interesting position that Conor McGregor has forged for himself within the UFC. Just a few years ago he was a prospect that had just made his debut, and managed to sign off the welfare after picking up a big knockout of the night bonus.
Now, he’s in a rare position of being able to dictate to the UFC who he fights, and when. The UFC are normally spoken of as a dictatorial force, with many fighters jumping when they say jump and taking any offer they are given to stay on the right side of the matchmakers. However, McGregor seemingly has free reign to pick and choose, because the UFC know he is their biggest star.
Being able to pull the strings allows him to pick the right fights, and turn down the ones he doesn’t want even if there’s fan demand. When you’re such a massive revenue generator for a company, that’s understandable. Every industry looks after their cash cows.
Recently, Conor McGregor has been reviewing his options and laying them out as he sees it. As we previously mentioned on this site, Georges St-Pierre seemed like a good option, but that’s not at the top of McGregor’s list. Here are some of the possibilities, according to the man himself.
A boxer in MMA
Although it was mentioned, nobody ever took it seriously. Floyd Mayweather said he’d take an MMA fight after meeting McGregor in the ring. However, ‘The Notorious’ suggests it might happen.
“We could either do a rematch in boxing, or like he said originally, we’ll do an MMA fight next.”
McGregor has a point to prove after getting stopped at the hands of Mayweather in August. Boxing tipsters suggested correctly that McGregor would be finished in the later rounds, but he did surprise many of the fans and pundits with his performance, taking several rounds from the undefeated pugilist.
He would love to prove that the boxer would have no say in how an MMA fight went and no chance of winning a round, despite him being able to cross codes and shut some people up. If Mayweather can’t be enticed, which is the likely outcome, maybe the mouthy Paulie Malignaggi might?
The top lightweights
Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson, Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje are all amongst the top of the pile. It seems McGregor is happy to let them keep battling with each other in order to let the cream rise to the top before he makes a choice.
Having already beaten Alvarez emphatically, it’s unlikely to be the choice he makes, but if any of these rest of them can make definitive statements then they’ll push themselves to the front of the queue, which is lucrative for anyone.
The recurring name
Khabib Nurmagomedov could make for a huge money fight in Russia, although that would then not be all in McGregor’s favour as it would be in Russia. No doubt it would be a huge sell on the live gate, but the North American crowds are notoriously bad at buying pay-per-views on somebody else’s timezones, so that could hit McGregor where it hurts the most – his pocket.
Even the Russian’s manager thinks talk of this matchup is hot air, as he said it would be a “stupid decision” to even think about fighting him, given the wrestling acumen of the 24-0 sambo specialist. Of course, that could be trying to goad the Irishman via his ego, but it does make some sense.
The rubber match
Nate Diaz dropped and then submitted McGregor in his only UFC defeat. McGregor then barely scraped a majority decision over the Stockton man when they had a rematch, which makes it 1-1 but not all equal. The rematch was McGregor’s best PPV draw in MMA, and finally putting it to bed would no doubt be even bigger.
Style-wise, the pair make for entertaining fights. McGregor knows the danger, but he also knows how to beat the iron-chinned Diaz now too. There is unfinished business it seems, as they’re level with McGregor still yet to put a full-stop on the rivalry.
There are plenty of bouts available for McGregor, but it seems he’ll pick when it suits him, and not anybody else.