With the “Notorious” Conor McGregor making his grand return at UFC 246 to his usual fanfare, the future is still as uncertain as ever with the sport’s most volatile and unpredictable figure. Though Donald Cerrone got the coveted “B” spot against McGregor next month and a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov in his sights for a future clash, let’s explore three potential fights for the rampaging Irishman.
If McGregor wants to get a rematch with Nurmagomedov, fighting a legitimate contender in line for a title shot should give us a better indicator on how he’ll look, should he try to avenge his one-sided loss. Gaethje has won his last three fights via first-round knockout and has shown capable grappling skills to go with his impressive power, which makes him a tough out for McGregor.
Beating Gaethje proper will tell us more about McGregor’s current state than McGregor beating Gaethje’s most recent victim next month, but McGregor is not likely to take any detours to Nurmagomedov, should he ever return to lightweight.
When Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz for the “BMF” belt, he immediately knew where the money was and called out McGregor for a fight. The potential bout between former lightweights turned welterweights is an intriguing one, and the trash talk during the buildup would be worth the price of admission alone.
Come fight night these two would crash into each other with reckless abandon, until either McGregor catches Masvidal with a wicked shot or Masvidal takes him down for a sudden submission. A big-time fight that can go either way, this would cater to McGregor’s machismo and ego, and fans would eat it up.
Perhaps the most dangerous fight, outside of a bout with Kamaru Usman, would be against Covington. But McGregor defeating Covington would not be outside the realm of possibility. Covington had his pride damaged after he engaged in tasteless trash talk toward Usman and had his jaw broken for his troubles, but his mouth would work just fine if given a mic opposite McGregor.
These two fighters rely heavily on their offense, so be it a three or five rounder, this has the potential of being a war for as long as it lasts. A defeat of Covington would be McGregor’s biggest win and shed the notion that McGregor is using the UFC as an ATM at this stage of his career.