3 Potential Opponents for Conor McGregor’s Next UFC Fight

3 Potential Opponents for Conor McGregor’s Next UFC Fight

Conor McGregor’s next UFC fight could sway the difference in the former UFC champion’s legacy.

A year has passed since Conor McGregor broke his leg in the first round of his trilogy bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.

Since then, McGregor has managed to heal rather quickly, all while taking significant time off to bask in the celebrity status of one of the most decorated MMA stars in the sport’s history.

McGregor is 1-3 in his last four UFC bouts dating back to 2018 and is coming off back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier in 2021.

The Irish MMA star and former UFC two-division champion is rumored to be eyeing a return to the UFC octagon, with numerous observers speculating what path the ‘Notorious’ one will choose to take in his return to the cage.

McGregor looked a step behind in his return to the octagon last year. If the former champion hasn’t improved significantly during his time away from the cage, it is likely in his best interest to pick his next opponent wisely.

Otherwise, McGregor would be at risk of losing three straight fights for the first time in his career.

Let’s take a look at three potential opponents for Conor McGregor’s return.

Tony Ferguson Makes for an Intriguing Match-Up vs McGregor

The fan favorite, El Cucuy, Tony Ferguson, has taken a bit of a nose dive in his overall performance as of late, which may have McGregor licking his chops when eyeing his next opponent.

Ferguson is on a four-fight losing streak, with his last loss coming by way of a devastating front kick knockout against Michael Chandler back in May.

Ferguson has been well known for his eccentric personality and his at times controversial comments in the lead-up to fights.

McGregor fits in a much similar description.

With both fighters facing a potential exit from the UFC with a loss in their next bout, it seems fitting that two of the most visceral trash talkers would end their respective careers by going head to head in what would surely be a highly-anticipated bout.

Michael Chandler a Tough Test for the Former UFC Champion

The former Bellator lightweight champion and one-time UFC lightweight title challenger, Michael Chandler, came to the UFC in hopes of facing Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight gold back in 2020.

However, Nurmagomedov called it a career in light of his father’s untimely death.

Then, Chandler lost to current de-facto UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in 2021.

Now, the former lightweight contender Chandler is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to finding his next opponent.

Chandler handed Tony Ferguson his fourth straight loss by way of a punishing front kick knockout at UFC 274 back in May and immediately called out McGregor in his post-fight interview.

A UFC fan favorite, Chandler has earned the respect of observers even in losses to both Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.

While a meeting with Chandler is likely not on the top of McGregor’s list, the question of Chandler’s chin and his tenacity of bringing constant forward pressure, may bring something to the table that McGregor’s potential return to the UFC in 2022.

Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor IV is Must See TV

While it remains highly unlikely, there is still a small, but very real possibility that Dustin Poirier decides to grant Conor McGregor another chance at redemption in a quartet bout between the two storied rivals.

McGregor defeated Poirier by knock out way back in 2014, before making his way to obtaining legend status with title wins in both the UFC men’s featherweight and lightweight divisions.

However, almost seven years later, Poirier and McGregor met again on Fight Island in January of 2021, with Poirier pulling off the massive upset with a second-round knockout.

The two would meet again just six months later at UFC 264, this time on much more hostile terms. McGregor made comments toward Poirier’s wife in the lead-up to the trilogy bout, which sold 200,000 more pay-per-views than the rematch.

McGregor lost to Poirier after breaking his leg in the final moments of the first round, with McGregor continuing to make controversial comments toward Poirier and his wife after the fight in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

While it remains highly unlikely that Poirier would grant McGregor a chance at evening the series, the Louisiana fighter has remained inactive since losing to his UFC title shot against Charles Oliviera in December of 2021 and has spoken numerous times about a potential for retirement.

With an end to his MMA career looming, there is still a slight possibility that Poirier would see fit to end on a high note by taking a large paycheck against a familiar opponent in McGregor.

While it’s not exactly clear when McGregor will choose to return to the octagon, what is certain is that the Irish MMA superstar will find himself at the top of the headlines when his next opponent is announced.

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