The world is Conor McGregor’s oyster and he’s ready to shuck it! Only we have no idea who his next opponent is going to be.
McGregor is the reigning UFC featherweight and lightweight champion with two welterweight fights under his belt, so there’s an abundance of potential challengers.
“It’s exciting,” UFC president Dana White said after McGregor knocked Eddie Alvarez out at UFC 205. “It’s fun all the different options Conor has.”
The 28-year-old is about to take some time off — he is set to become a first-time father in the spring and also plans to sit down with UFC ownership to discuss his financial future — but there are a handful of fighters who want a crack at the Irish superstar.
McGregor’s next opponent is such a talking point, in fact, that official betting odds have been released.
Nate Diaz +175
Tyron Woodley +300
Khabib Nurmagomedov +400
Jose Aldo +500
Nick Diaz +650
Georges St-Pierre +700
Tony Ferguson +750
Max Holloway +1000
Frankie Edgar +3000
Stephen Thompson +3500
It’s not surprising Nate Diaz is at the top of the list. Anytime Diaz and McGregor are near one another, in the cage or otherwise, we get fireworks. Diaz submitted McGregor at UFC 196 in March and McGregor avenged that loss by earning a unanimous decision over Diaz at UFC 202 in August. Both events were massive pay-per-view successes and both fights took place at welterweight (170 pounds). A trilogy bout at 155 pounds, Diaz’s natural weight class, with McGregor’s lightweight belt on the line would in all likelihood be the most highly anticipated fight in UFC history and a gigantic money-maker.
Current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was involved in a handful of tense moments with McGregor during UFC 205 fight week including a heated standoff at the official weigh-ins.
Would the UFC allow McGregor to chase a third title? The answer: Of course they would.
Top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson made the list, although many feel they’ll end up fighting one another before McGregor defends his title.
Interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo is still pining for his rematch, as is winner of nine straight Max Holloway. Not listed is former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who now competes as a featherweight. If Pettis beats Holloway at UFC 206 he will work his way into the conversation.
Perhaps the most intriguing names on the list are MMA superstars Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz, the older brother of Nate. GSP and Diaz are coming off lengthy layoffs and their respective UFC futures are up in the air but McGregor fighting either of them would be a blockbuster.