After competing in one of the greatest fights in UFC history, Conor McGregor’s victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202 has put all eyes firmly on the Dubliners next move. The Notorious has several potential options, here we look at some of the permutations.
Jose Aldo at 145
Since McGregor shifted his focus away from the featherweight division, Jose Aldo snapped-up the 145lb interim title, with a convincing win over number two ranked contender Frankie Edgar, at UFC 200 in July.
The Brazilian has made no qualms about his desire for a re-match with McGregor, with various posts across social media calling-out the man from SBG Ireland.
— Jose Aldo Junior (@josealdojunior) August 21, 2016
Dana White has made his and the UFC's intentions clear of making McGregor return to his old stomping ground, to defend his featherweight title for the very first time.
“I fully expect Conor to come back and defend his 145-pound title.” said White speaking exclusively to UFC.com prior to Diaz v McGreogr II.
The UFC president reiterated his stance on unifying the featherweight belts speaking on ESPN's Sportscenter just days ago:
“Conor is the 145 pound champion, he needs to defend his title or give it up and decide what he's going to do next.”
It's clear what Aldo, Dana and the UFC want next for McGregor, but the man from Crumlin isn't as enthused about a potential remake of UFC 194.
“A two year round the world deal with that boy [Aldo] and then he stepped in, and I beat him in 13 seconds. It's hard for me to get excited about that.” said McGregor in his UFC 202 post-fight press conference.
Eddie Alvarez at 155
The man McGregor was originally meant to face at UFC 196 for the lightweight title, Rafael dos Anjos, was unceremoniously dethroned by Philadelphia's Eddie Alvarez in July. Alvarez in turn clinched the 155 title.
It was McGregor's intention to be the UFC's first fighter to hold two belts, in two different weight classes, and his coach John Kavanagh thinks a match-up with Alvarez for the 155 belt should be his next fight.
“He [McGregor] is perfect for 155, it's a very very easy weight-cut for 155.” explained Kavanagh on Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour podcast.
“I think it would be nice for him to get the belt at 155, and then defend it against Nate.” he added.
This fight looks arguably the most likely. It offers McGregor his shot at being a two weight champion, and as Coach Kavanagh said, there's the chance for The Notorious to offer Diaz a rematch, and with it a shot at the 155lb title.
— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) August 21, 2016
Nate Diaz at 155
It's the one MMA fans all want to see, with both fighters saying they fully intend on making this a trilogy. But given Dana's firm stance and reiteration of McGregor having to drop-down weight and defend his title, it may not be an immediate re-match.
Diaz has stated he will take no other fight, unless it's the man that defeated him at UFC 202. McGregor's only stipulation is that they go to war at the lower weight-class of 155lbs.
By this time last fight I had allready excepted rematch rest up I'm coming for you….. https://t.co/rtEcMhIhgq
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) August 24, 2016
Both fighters earned record payday's from their latest titanic battle, but unfortunately the bookies have Diaz as the least likely of the three to take on McGregor next. They have it as an 8/1 shot.
Diaz may have to sit-it out and wait for his rubber match, while McGregor drops down the divisions.
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