Search icon


16th Feb 2020

Conor McGregor’s next fight narrowed down to two options

Patrick McCarry

Conor McGregor

“There was talk about Jorge Masvidal too. He used to be a 155-er. He’s not a big, big 170.”

Conor McGregor started off his ‘2020 season’ with an effortless dismantling of Donald Cerrone in January. He immediately declared his willingness to put a beating on ‘all these mouthy fools’ and remain very much active over the course of the year.

McGregor would ideally like a crack at UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov next but there is the small matter of ‘The Eagle’ taking on No.1 contender Tony Ferguson in two months’ time.

In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, UFC president Dana White gave his take on what he felt was next up for the Dubliner:

“Conor’s thing right now is that Conor thinks Tony and Khabib isn’t going to happen and he wants to slide into that spot, so we’ll see how this plays out. He is ready, willing and able to slide into that spot, if it becomes available.”

McGregor has openly stated that he is training with eyes firmly on that April card at the Barclays Center (sic) in Brooklyn. Should both Ferguson and Nurmagomedov make it to The Octagon for their title showdown, McGregor will look to secure a fight within weeks of UFC 249.

John Kavanagh, his trainer, is on record stating his preference for a 170lbs fight against Justin Gaethje should the replacement plan for UFC 249 not come to fruition. Gaethje is currently operating as a lightweight but, like Donald Cerrone before him, would not need much coaxing to step up for a big money fight.

Gaethje McGregor

Two dyed in the wool welterweights, and MMA legends, have told SportsJOE that they do not expect McGregor to go chasing Kamaru Usman – the current UFC champion – in that division any time soon.

“I don’t think Conor’s going to stay at welterweight,” says Ben Askren. “It sounds like he’s going after someone in the lightweight division, but I guess we’ll wait and see.”

Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is currently rehabbing after breaking both hands during his November 2019 victory over Vicente Luque. The 6th ranked welterweight and former title contender, who is with the same management team (Paradigm) as McGregor, is keeping a close eye on his division for potential comeback opponents.

“I don’t think he is moving to our weight class,” he tells us.

“I’m not sure if he wants to fight a true welterweight; guys that are true 170-pound fighters. His coach has been talking about him fighting Gaethje at 170.

“There was talk about Jorge Masvidal too. He used to be a 155-er. He’s not a big, big 170.”

Masvidal seems to have accepted that a McGregor fight will not be happening any time soon. The Florida native had looked on course for a bout with McGregor but he took the lack of a call-out, after the Cerrone victory, as a sign that the former ‘Champ Champ’ wants no part of him.

Despite joking, on Saturday night, about a fight with Diego Sanchez, Conor McGregor’s next fight is narrowing to one of two options. He either replaces Ferguson or Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 or, fit and fight-ready, he goes up against Justin Gaethje in early summer.

*Ben Askren and Stephen Thompson will be appearing with the likes of Frank Mir, James Gallagher, Kiefer Crosbie, Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan and more at Fight Con Ireland in County Cork on February 29.