Conor McGregor hasn’t stepped into the octagon for 14 months, but not a day goes by without his name being mentioned in MMA talk. As the return of the star Irishman draws nearer after breaking his leg, there is speculation as to who could be next to McGregor in the spotlight.

Nate Diaz, who had two exciting and lucrative encounters with McGregor, appears to be out of the fight. Diaz recently terminated his contract with the UFC and said he plans to move on to new challenges.

- Advertisement -

Floyd Mayweather, whose boxing match with McGregor in 2017 was very attractive, said this week that he is in talks for another boxing match with McGregor in 2023. Who is negotiating with? McGregor has a contract with the UFC, which seems eager to get him back into the octagon, a place Mayweather wouldn’t dare to risk. McGregor also posted on instagram that he was “#not interested” and posted a photo of him punching Mayweather.

- Advertisement -

So who’s left for McGregor? Will UFC matchmakers be looking for the biggest money-making fight they can put together, or will they be looking to get McGregor back on track with a win? Can the UFC achieve glory by putting him in a championship fight?

- Advertisement -

Here are some of the opportunities offered by the Sportzshala mixed martial arts team.

Charles Oliveira finally got his money fight

He should fight Charles Oliveira next, even if Oliveira wins or loses to Islam Makhachev on October 22nd. Yes, I understand that if Oliveira wins it will mean I am running for McGregor to get a lightweight title shot. … And you know what? I don’t mind.

Of course, McGregor is not. deserve title fight, but this scenario has nothing to do with what McGregor deserves. It’s all about what Oliveira deserves. If Oliveira beats Makhachev in Abu Dhabi, that would mean he has beaten Makhachev, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson in their last five fights. It’s insanely impressive.

I’m usually a purist when it comes to these topics. I will almost always vote for ratings and legitimacy over spectacle and pay-per-view purchases. But I can’t sit here and pretend that Any Part of me would be upset if Oliveira was able to cash in on the McGregor fight. And even if he lost Makhachev, the matter remains in force. If anyone deserves the money that is now coming in to fight McGregor in MMA, it’s Oliveira. He has been one of the most spectacular and strong-willed athletes in the sport in recent years. — Brett Okamoto

Choice Drama Show: Jorge Masvidal

A rival for McGregor upon his return will be a business decision. I can’t think of a better opponent to take on than another fighter who can sell pay-per-views and score big goals without a championship on the line: Jorge Masvidal.

In the past, UFC president Dana White has ruled out a fight due to the size difference, but now that McGregor seems closer to a comeback at welterweight than at lightweight, a fight with Masvidal is a possibility.

Masvidal would be the perfect match for McGregor’s return. He enjoys stand-up talks and excels at promoting events. Any of them breaking a losing streak will also open the door for big fights in the near future.

Talks about a fight with Gilbert Burns have been going on for several months. However, Masvidal is also recovering from a hand injury and, if the opportunity presents itself, will most likely wait for the fight with the former two-division champion that he has wanted since 2019.

I don’t think the door to the Diaz trilogy is closed, but Masvidal might be the closest in terms of the scale of the event and something that wouldn’t be unfair to the rest of the list, like having McGregor with a rival. or the 155-pound title fight where he won six years ago. — Carlos Contreras Legazpi

Old School vs New School: Paddy Pimblett

McGregor should be at the top of the map. He has the biggest financial draw in the history of the sport. There’s no way around that, even though he’s only had one win since 2016. That’s why many people will offer fights against the likes of Michael Chandler or Justin Gaethje. But why not maximize McGregor’s comeback by pitting him against one of the sport’s most prominent rising stars, which would be a win-win situation for the UFC? According to sources, Pimblett could fight one or two more fights before McGregor returns, which is unlikely until the middle of next year.

If Pimblett can pick up a couple of victories, he’ll still be hot and on the same path to superstardom that McGregor was on in 2014. The fight could take place at welterweight although both are natural lightweights. Pimblet has made it clear that he’s putting on a lot of weight in the off-season, with McGregor looking bigger than ever in the photos. That would be a huge business bill for the UFC. This will pit England and Ireland against each other and the promotion will win no matter who wins. If McGregor wins, “The Infamous” will be back and could be ready for a title shot. If Pimblet wins? Boom. The UFC will have a new megastar around who is not even 30 years old. — Mark Raimondi

Conor lost against Alexander Volkanovski

I’ve been campaigning for a return of the UFC to Australia for some time now, and there are rumors that the card will take place in Perth in February. I’m not sure if this is a fight for this event, but Alexander Volkanovski and Conor McGregor would be a big one. Volkanovski’s popularity in Australia, as well as the many Irish people living in Down Under, would ensure a full house for the UFC.

And the two had previous grievances too, with McGregor saying he’d “take Volkanovski’s head off like a rugby ball” following the Australian’s win over Brian Ortega at UFC 266 in 2021. urine”. The Aussie has been teasing a move up to lightweight ever since, so why not book his first fight in the new division against one of the biggest names in the promotion? If Volkanovski wins, will he be able to claim champion status next time? — Bruce himself

Slugfest with Justin Gaethje

If McGregor is serious about fighting for a belt in the UFC again, he will have to face someone who poses a real threat. But the UFC is probably not interested in giving him an opponent who would rather knock him to the ground and hurt him or send him there. But he doesn’t need any favors in a division full of legitimate rivals. That’s why Justin Gaethje makes sense.

It’s the right fight for McGregor because he won’t have to worry about someone taking him to the canvas dozens of times. Gaethje will stand and trade with him. He’ll also land a bunch of kicks – and it won’t be fun for McGregor – but he’ll be involved. And this is exactly what the 34-year-old, who has not been an active fighter for the past six years, needs. It’s also a good fight for Gaethje, who failed against the cream of the division. And it’s a good UFC fight that could give McGregor immediate title shot confirmation if he wins, or put a big name on a fighter’s resume heading for another championship opportunity. This works for everyone. — Myron Medcalf

Copyright holders do not need to apply

I’m not going to suggest one name, but I’m judging the options. Out of the hundreds of men on the UFC roster, I say go ahead and put McGregor in a cage with any fighter except the eight men who wear championship belts. Do I have to explain why giving a title shot to McGregor, who has only won one win in the last six years and finished three times in that time, would change all UFC championship belts into cheap knick-knacks? You don’t see LeBron James and Tom Brady in championship games except when they’re earning their place despite the ratings and revenue that their star power brings. This is what happens at the highest level of sports. Do you want sports entertainment? See WWE.

And UFC shareholders take note: Any The McGregor fight will fill the arena and pay-per-view sales will skyrocket. He’s not just the “A-side” of any matchup. He is a gold record holder in his own right. So, find the “Infamous” fun fight and go count your money. –Jeff Wagenheim