As mixed martial arts fans finish digesting the elation or heartbreak of Conor McGregor’s history-making lightweight title win over Eddie Alvarez in the main event of last night’s UFC 205, the discussion has now shifted to just whom the dual champ “Notorious” will face in his next bout.
An obvious contender is top-ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov, the smothering Dagestani wrestler who made his brutally clinical submission win over previously surging Michael Johnson look like just another day at the office, and after almost three years since his last fight with a top opponent, no less. Tony Ferguson will undoubtedly have a strong opinion against that, and obviously Jose Aldo, Max Holloway, and every other top featherweight is holding out hope McGregor will somehow return to 145 pounds.
That doesn’t seem too likely at this point.
McGregor also cautioned that after UFC 205 supposedly broke almost every major UFC record in terms of financial success for a single card, he would have to re-assess his place in the company that he believes depends on him to succeed, and the only way to do that is to reach some sort of partnership where he has a stake alongside the new owners who bought the company for a record $4.2 billion in July.
The polarizing star also stated he was going to take some time off as he’s going to be a father next year, sour news to the ears of every single fighter in the talented divisions he now rules concurrently. When he does return eventually, he may be fighting for an unprecedented third UFC title. He mixed it up with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley throughout the week leading up to UFC 205 and at the weigh-ins and now a match-up between the two is certainly possible.
“””The Chosen One” is believed to be headed for a rematch with Stephen Thompson after his hotly-debated majority draw in the UFC 205 co-main event, but after looking for a money fight with Georges St-Pierre or Nick Diaz after he won the belt from Robbie Lawler at UFC 201, Woodley isn’t about to let another “red panty night” slip through his grasp.
Goaded by a ‘fan’ online who mocked Woodley’s status as champ before asking him to ‘help’ McGregor win a third belt, the bulldozing titleholder simply said he was down:
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) November 13, 2016
Woodley has often stated a bout with McGregor would be an easy task, as his punching power is a different animal compared to the 145 and 155-pound fighters “Notorious” is used to facing. But fighters like Alvarez and Aldo have said McGregor had not been tested right before he knocked them out with shocking ease.
There’s a good amount of backstory and animosity between McGregor and Woodley, and that only grew to heightened proportions when the UFC awkwardly gave McGregor Woodley’s belt on short notice when he demanded to have a second title to commemorate his accomplishments during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
He teased a title bout against Lawler when he held the belt, and another historic title fight – this time against Woodley – could be on the docket if and when “The Notorious” returns from his break with an agreeable deal inked with the new owners.
Do you believe McGregor would have a strong chance at a third UFC belt?