Now that the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight is behind us, Dana White – and fans – want to see McGregor back in the Octagon. One of the biggest conversations relating to the superstar is who will he fight next upon his return to the UFC. Recent rumors have surfaced that he’ll step in with Nate Diaz to complete their trilogy. But is that the right move?
Fans Would Be Excited
The challenge for finding the right fight for McGregor is that there isn’t anyone who seems like the No. 1 contender based on either merit or star power. McGregor was mostly toying with fighters in two divisions before switching over to boxing. Fans want to see him challenged and we already know Diaz would present that.
There is the possibility that McGregor faces off with someone like Khabib Numagomedov or Tony Ferguson, or even has a rematch with Jose Aldo, but none of those bouts would have the same cachet as a rematch with Diaz.
One of the main reasons why people want to see McGregor-Diaz III is because of the unfinished business. Diaz won the first fight, McGregor won the second and we haven’t had a deciding third bout. Both fights were entertaining and both bouts pushed the fighters to their limits. And remember that McGregor was submitted in the first fight and then only won by a majority decision in the second. That shows you just how close it was.
Fans want to see a deciding third bout. There is no other fight that fans want to see more and there is no matchup that would sell better. As of now, McGregor is posted as a -250 favorite while Diaz comes in at +195.
Does The UFC Want This Fight?
One of the main challenges with this fight is whether the UFC wants to see it happen again. They have had a really rough couple of years in terms of their superstars fading and that has hurt their brand. Do they want to risk losing another?
Ronda Rousey used to be an A-lister but after a couple of losses, nobody even asks about her anymore. Once deemed the crown jewel of the UFC, she probably wouldn’t even headline a card if she returned.
Jon Jones was considered to be the best fighter the UFC had ever produced but bouts with the law and performance-enhancing drugs have removed him from the sport completely. As of now, he’s suspended indefinitely. The problem is on his way out, he knocked out Daniel Cormier, so that dulls Cormier’s star power too.
And even looking further back, there were big draws like Brock Lesnar, Jose Aldo and Paige VanZant, but all have taken losses and fallen.
McGregor is the sport’s biggest draw. He could fight Diaz and risk a loss. After all, Diaz beat him once and pushed him to the limit in a second bout. The UFC has to be concerned that McGregor – especially after being away from the sport – could lose this fight.
Or instead, they could trot him out as the headliner for a card and ease him back into the sport. He could pummel someone like Ferguson and maybe Aldo again, and the UFC could make some good money in the process. And then possibly look for a McGregor-Diaz rematch later on down the line.
McGregor’s next move is the top story in the UFC right now. While fans would love to see the Diaz rematch, it’s still up in the air what Dana White and company will decide for their MMA star.