Although questions still loom over Conor McGregor’s return to mixed martial arts, it’s looking increasingly likely that the Irishman’s next bout will be in the UFC.
McGregor, the current UFC lightweight champion, has recently stirred up interest for a title unification bout against the top-ranked Tony Ferguson, who beat Kevin Lee at UFC 216 to become the promotion’s first ever interim 155-pound champ.
‘The Notorious’ and ‘El Cucuy’ traded barbs on social media earlier this month, with both men posting GTA-inspired cartoon insults on Twitter.
Another possibility for McGregor is a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz, who submitted the MMA megastar at UFC 196 but lost via majority decision in the pulsating welterweight rematch at UFC 202.
Diaz, 32, is a slightly bigger underdog than Ferguson at +200, with McGregor listed as the clear favorite (-250). Diaz hasn’t stepped foot in the Octagon since he lost the rematch to McGregor last year.
McGregor has received criticism for not defending any of his titles, but the Dubliner has promised to return to the UFC to ‘legitimize’ the rankings. The 29-year-old made his boxing debut against pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past August, losing via 10th round TKO. Coach Owen Roddy says McGregor is back in gym and could begin training camp earlier than many fans expect.