UFC

Who Will Conor McGregor Fight Next?

The Notorious Conor McGregor is the UFC’s latest and greatest star. Because of this, fans wonder about his next fight. Although the 31-year-old has a deep love for the sport, he’s also interested in fights that will make him the most money. So, McGregor’s next fight will not only have to be competitive; it’ll have to make sense for his bank account. Here are some likely opponents who meet both of those criteria:

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Despite the fact that McGregor’s fight with Nurmagomedov made the UFC the most money ever, a rematch is not very likely. That’s because Nurmagomedov dominated and finished McGregor in their fight, and there’s little reason to expect McGregor would do any better in a rematch. 

However, due to the infamous post-fight brawl in the octagon, there’s still bad blood between the two men. With millions of dollars on the line, a rematch may still happen. Indeed, McGregor has continued to tweet about their first fight and how he’d do in a rematch. The groundwork for one is there. 

Jorge Masvidal

Coming off of his record-breaking, five-second, flying-knee knockout of Ben Askren, Masvidal called out McGregor to fight. This striker’s roots are in the backyard fighting scene of Florida. So a McGregor-versus-Masvidal fight would likely be kept standing, an area both men are comfortable with.

However, UFC President Dana White shot down the fight, saying, among other things, that Masvidal is too big for McGregor. White later said his comments made McGregor angry since he’d fought and beat bigger men in order to become the UFC’s first two-weight class champion.

Furthermore, with Colby Covington’s victory at UFC Newark, White has said Covington will receive the next title shot at 170 lb. White later said Masvidal will get a new opponent, though he failed to elaborate on who. So for now, a McGregor vs. Masvidal fight is still very possible. 

Nate Diaz

After surprising everyone and handing Conor McGregor his first UFC loss in 2016, the rivalry between these two men has generated millions of dollars. McGregor defeated Diaz by majority decision later in the year and then went on to become the first two-weight class champion. Fans have speculated over a trilogy fight for years.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t materialized as Diaz refused to fight anyone who wasn’t going to make him a lot of money and McGregor went on to box with Floyd Mayweather. Diaz finally has a fight, however, scheduled for UFC 241 against Anthony Pettis, the former lightweight champion. If he beats Pettis, then fans will expect him to call out McGregor as he did years ago.

This trilogy fight would make a lot of sense as Diaz is someone McGregor knows he can beat. With the millions of dollars they both earned from their first two fights, a third one would be both exciting and profitable. 

Paulie Malignaggi

Paulie Malignaggi is the only potential boxer whom McGregor may fight in the future because there’s already been beef between the two men. It all started when McGregor hired Malignaggi, a former world champion boxer, to train with him in preparation for his fight with Mayweather. McGregor claims to have knocked out Malignaggi in sparring. Malignaggi took offense to those claims.

McGregor released photos of their sparring session, which included pictures of Malignaggi apparently being knocked down by McGregor’s hands. Malignaggi later fought and lost to McGregor’s friend and accountant, Artem Lobov, in a bare-knuckle boxing match.

To finally settle their beef, a boxing match between the two could work. Plus, with the UFC preparing to launch their boxing division later this year, an inaugural McGregor-versus-Malignaggi fight would make a lot of sense and a lot of money as well.