Just minutes after his UFC202 war with Nate Diaz at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the congregated press were asking what’s next for Conor McGregor.
The Irishman wasn’t willing to put his cards on the table, and as is often the case after a UFC card, we’re left with more questions than answers. We’ve trawled through all of the available information and in this article we’re releasing early odds on who McGregor is going to face next.
Who Are the Candidates?
Nate Diaz (9/1)
McGregor emerged victorious by way of a majority-decision after a bloody five round battle with Stockton’s own Nate Diaz and confirmed to Joe Rogan that he wants to do it once more, this time at 155 lbs to put an end to the McGregor-Diaz saga. It’s unlikely to happen any time soon though. There’s definitely public appetite for a rubber match in the series, but best to let this one stew for a year or so.
Jose Aldo (7/5)
What of the featherweight division? Let’s not forget that McGregor is the champion at 145 lbs, despite leaving the belt lying idle since winning it in December. The Diaz saga sparked the creation of an interim belt to keep the featherweights from revolting and the holder of said interim belt is Jose Aldo, who you’ll remember McGregor put to the sword in just 13 seconds last December. Aldo demanded a rematch, but when offered one after Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of UFC196, Aldo quickly backed down.
McGregor made it clear on Saturday night that he doesn’t have much interest in facing Aldo again and was very much ‘been there, done that in 13 seconds’ about the prospect of a rematch. He also guffawed at the notion that he should be stripped of the belt and Aldo made unified Champion given the ease with which he beat the Brazilian. It’s very likely that UFC’s preferred option is that McGregor go back down to 145 lbs and defend, to get the division moving again.
Eddie Alvarez (5/2)
The story arc for McGregor after he beat Jose Aldo was that he was to try his hand at becoming the first two-weight Champion in UFC history, and would have to get through Rafael dos Anjos, the 155 lb champ to do so. dos Anjos however picked up an injury just 12 days before the fight and this was the beginning of the Nate Diaz saga.
In the interim, dos Anjos has lost the belt to Eddie Alvarez so, now that the Diaz thing should be put to bed for a while, the natural thing for McGregor to do to get back on track would be to fight Alvarez to complete his initial goal. Him being allowed to do so while also continuing to stall the 145 lb division would draw the ire of his featherweight brethren and cause some headaches for Dana White.
Rafael dos Anjos (7/2)
Many argue that after stuttering against something of a journeyman in Diaz (albeit it welterweight), McGregor should be made to earn his keep in the lightweight division before being granted a title shot. The natural choice of opponent for such a fight would be dos Anjos.
Floyd Mayweather (50/1)
This one just won’t go away. Conor made some cryptic comments about ‘options’ at the press conference and, as usual, this was interpreted as referring to a mega-bucks boxing match the Floyd. While is may happen eventually, Conor will probably ply his trade in the UFC for a little longer before he goes full-Vegas on us.