As UFC prepares for a biggest label of a calendar year on Nov. 4 in New York, a association is staid for a one-year anniversary of dual milestones.
Not usually does UFC 217, surfaced by a contingent of pretension fights, symbol a promotion’s lapse to Madison Square Garden for a second time given a 19-year anathema on a competition was carried in a Empire State, a label comes scarcely a full year given Conor McGregor final stepped feet inside a Octagon.
McGregor (21-3), UFC’s lightweight champion and undisputed biggest star, headlined a installed UFC 205 final Nov and done story by knocking out Eddie Alvarez to turn a initial coexisting two-division champion in UFC history.
After sitting out a initial 5 months of 2017 for a birth of his initial child, McGregor spent his summer moonlighting as a veteran warrior for his pro entrance — a 10th-round TKO detriment to Floyd Mayweather. McGregor’s deficiency has harm UFC financially, outward of a cut it took home for permitting him to follow such a outrageous payday in a honeyed science.
The accurate date and business of McGregor’s UFC lapse stays uncertain. But deliberation he was approaching to have warranted upwards of $100 million opposite Mayweather, one can disagree that McGregor enters his subsequent quarrel with some-more precedence than any UFC warrior has ever had.
Only “The Notorious” truly knows for certain what’s next. Let’s take a closer demeanour during his options.
1. Most expected and lucrative: Nate Diaz
Their second assembly in Aug 2016 stays a highest-selling pay-per-view in MMA story during an estimated 1.65 million buys (UFC doesn’t recover central numbers), so there’s small need to explain because this quarrel appears to be a hall leader.
Diaz is an competition McGregor already knows he can improved and has proven to be higher to in terms of distinguished over a 7 rounds of their rivalry. And after dual fights during welterweight, it would usually make clarity for a third assembly to come during 155 pounds for a title, that would advantage a smaller McGregor some-more than Diaz.
Considering a commercial rabble speak and personalities involved, this has fast turn one of a biggest rivalries in UFC story and after a severe 2017 financially, a association can certainly advantage from a asset it would produce. We know Diaz, who hasn’t fought given their rematch and has been indifferent in safeguarding his value by branch down any matchup not named McGregor, would be peaceful to pointer off if a income is right.
2. Most critically formidable and important: Tony Ferguson
This is a quarrel UFC boss Dana White has been outspoken in observant he wants most, ever given a impassioned Ferguson submitted Kevin Lee dual weeks ago to constraint a halt lightweight title. This joint hitch would also overpower a legitimate critique that both UFC and McGregor have faced: The graduation for floating too many halt titles and not adhering to their possess rankings complement and a warrior for not once fortifying possibly of a dual UFC titles he has won.
With his sparkling distinguished style, 11-fight win strain and affinity for rabble talk, it’s tough to disagree opposite Ferguson being not usually a many honourable claimant though also a ideal competition for McGregor from a selling standpoint. Make no mistake about it, this would be an impossibly fun promotion.
On a flip side, however, there are a span of reasons to cruise because we won’t see it next. From a promotional standpoint, there’s an evidence that Ferguson’s code could advantage from one some-more showcase attempt, quite in a co-main eventuality to McGregor-Diaz III should it get done for UFC 219 on Dec. 30. The other is usually how dangerous of a quarrel Ferguson would be for McGregor, who it needs to be reminded ad nauseam, has during slightest 100 million reasons to quarrel whomever he wants. The fact that McGregor has usually once responded on amicable media to Ferguson pursuit him out during UFC 216 is interesting.
3. Most gross abuse of leverage: Paulie Malignaggi
A lapse to a fighting ring so quickly, generally opposite a light-hitting and 36-year-old late fighter, would be McGregor’s excellent goblin pursuit to everybody criticizing him for not being a fighting champion in a UFC. A preference like this would be ideal drift for UFC to frame McGregor of his belt, nonetheless it’s equally tough to suppose they would given a graduation would expected find a cut of McGregor’s fighting purse like they did opposite Mayweather.
That doesn’t meant there wouldn’t be seductiveness in this fight, even if many of it would be for fair purposes. While Malignaggi is a former two-division champion, McGregor valid opposite Mayweather a certain turn of cunning as an effectively ungainly boxer. And a story both fighters have from their ring failure (along with Malignaggi’s present for gab) would pledge a clever payday for both.
No, this one wouldn’t proceed Mayweather-McGregor numbers or surpass 4 million buys, though if it did even a entertain of that, it would still be a large success. McGregor would also be adored to win by many. But notwithstanding Malignaggi going open in new weeks that his confidant Al Haymon, who also reps Mayweather, has reached out to White, it’s usually as probable that McGregor uses this speak as a smokescreen to expostulate adult his subsequent UFC purse.
4. Most dangerously ill-advised: Tyron Woodley
There’s roughly 0 reason to trust that a pierce adult to face a UFC’s welterweight champion is on a house for care during a moment. But let’s not forget McGregor’s inlet and his eagerness to pursue hurdles (both a Mayweather and fist Diaz fights are ideal proof) deemed brash and impractical by most. Not usually does McGregor benefit vicious honour for doing so, there’s reduction intensity repairs to his station should he take a detriment in these forms of challenges.
McGregor has traded backstage rabble speak with Woodley, who is now nursing a shoulder injury, on some-more than one arise and publicly has run his mouth about a thought of relocating adult to follow a third UFC title. Such a feat would yield a Irishman with immortality in terms of his legacy. But it’s also an thought improved talked about than acted upon. Woodley’s reduction of speed, energy and wrestling make him all kinds of wrong for McGregor, that is a biggest reason because we aren’t going to see it.
5. Biggest blockbuster to wait for: Georges St-Pierre
Yes, this one isn’t all that expected either, creation intensity opponents like dominant Khabib Nurmagomedov or even a fighting rematch with Mayweather feel some-more realistic. The biggest reason is that a former 170-pound aristocrat St-Pierre is returning from a four-year retirement during middleweight on Nov. 4 to face champion Michael Bisping. But amusement me by deliberation this logic usually a same.
As a brand-name alone, GSP presents McGregor with a many appealing dance partner underneath a UFC ensign to a thought of attempting to set a new PPV record and proceed dual million buys for a initial time. Even some-more importantly, McGregor has all a time in a universe to lay behind and wait for whichever competition he wants. Let’s not forget a financial precedence he now commands.
Should St-Pierre continue a rival improved opposite Bisping, a kind that encourages his lapse and doesn’t repairs his name, a dump behind down to welterweight could be a ideal move. The same could occur should GSP win, generally if he decides that competing full time during 185 pounds isn’t a smartest pierce physically during this indicate in his career.
There doesn’t need to be a pretension during interest for GSP-McGregor to be a blockbuster and if McGregor’s solitary purpose from here on out is to follow a biggest eventuality accessible to him, it’s not unfit he waits for this one subsequent spring.