Conor McGregor’s anticipated MMA return currently remains unknown during a time when the UFC needs him most.
The most likely candidates are obviously interim champion Tony Ferguson and Nate Diaz, as “The Notorious” recently called out “El Cucuy” online while a third match-up with Diaz will always loom large as a massive financial windfall until it inevitably happens.
McGregor could go either way for his next fight, or he could come out of left field with something else altogether. But Ferguson and Diaz are the most probable opponents for the UFC megastar, and online betting site Bovada (via Bloody Elbow) has released some early odds for both prospective bouts should they become a reality.
According to their early odds, McGregor is a favorite against both opponents, coming in at -165 versus the streaking +135 underdog Ferguson, who has won an unheard-of 10 straight fights in the deeply talented UFC lightweight division capped off by his latest interim title-sealing win over Kevin Lee at October 7’s UFC 216. Diaz, meanwhile, who hasn’t fought since he lost a close decision to McGregor at UFC 202, is a bigger underdog, rating at +195 to McGregor’s -250.
McGregor famously lost to Diaz via second-round submission in their historic first match at March 2016’s UFC 196, inciting arguably the most popular rivalry in MMA history. The rematch did even bigger numbers, but Diaz may have lost a bit of steam after staying out of action while McGregor signed onto and participated in his circus of a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather last August, which he ultimately lost by 10th-round TKO.
He’s also been reported to want upwards of $20-30 million for the fight, a figure even McGregor proclaimed may price him out of the fight.
The majority of hardcore MMA fans seem to want McGregor to finally defend his lightweight title against a true top contender, which Ferguson no doubt is as the interim champ. “The Notorious” has also teased he would defend the belt, which he has not done since winning his first UFC title in 2015, to “legitimize the rankings.”
Do you agree with the odds as they are now, or should Ferguson and Diaz be given more of a chance versus the Irish megastar?