One of the hottest topics in mixed martial arts (MMA) at the moment is who Conor McGregor will fight upon his return to the Octagon. “The Notorious” is settling up some legal issues outside of the cage, but once things are squared away, he’s expected to return home to the UFC.
McGregor has greatly expressed interest in a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who submitted McGregor at UFC 229 last year. Now, McGregor is seeking vengeance on the Russian, but is willing to take another fight beforehand to prove he is worthy of a 155-pound title opportunity.
Recently, former UFC welterweight and commentator Dan Hardy spoke on Sirius XM radio to offer his take on the situation. In Hardy’s point of view, a fight with Nurmagomedov is the only bout that doesn’t make sense for the Irishman. (H/T BJPenn.com)
“There are other fights that make sense for Conor. I think the only fight that doesn’t make sense for him is Khabib,” Dan Hardy said. “That is the only one that doesn’t make sense. He needs to have another fight before he gets a shot at Khabib. Or, he just completely invalidates all of the other people in that division that is putting good win streaks together.
“Tony Ferguson’s got to get the next fight, after that, Justin Gaethje is in line. I think Dustin Poirier would be a good person for him to fight. Justin Gaethje’s not only a risky fight for Conor McGregor but Justin Gaethje doesn’t need to fight Conor McGregor to get a title shot. I think he has done his work. Whereas with Poirier, that is shot back to a title shot. There is also a story there.
“I also think you could coerce Conor McGregor into that fight because he already got a win over Poirier. He is going to feel confident in signing that contract again. Conor wants the quickest route back to the title because he wants the least effort for the biggest amount of money. If he has to fight someone else which is the easier fight, which in his mind is likely Poirier.”
Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje are certainly challengers that would make sense for McGregor at this point in time. McGregor and Poirier have a history with one another, as “Notorious” knocked Poirier out in their first meeting several years ago. Gaethje has been working hard to try and secure a fight with McGregor as well, and given his recent win streak, is certainly a viable contender to challenge the UFC’s top star.
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