At UFC 257, Conor McGregor suffered a shocking knockout loss at the hands of Dustin Poirier, who compromised his opponent’s movement via crushing calf kicks before pummeling him with heavy blows to earn a stoppage win in round two.
McGregor was a sizeable favorite coming into the fight and looked in the shape of his life, but Poirier came better prepared and avenged his UFC 178 loss in a spectacular fashion.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
Poirier deserves a title fight next, but the Irishman needs to work his way back up, and for that, he’ll have to fight somebody. Below are five matchups that might intrigue the UFC’s biggest star.
Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor share quite a history. The two fighters have competed twice against each other and are tied at 1-1. Now is the best time for a trilogy fight between the two superstars.
These guys all get finished all the time 🤦🏻♂️
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 24, 2021
Diaz is expected to make his return to fighting this year, as per UFC president Dana White. With McGregor out of the title picture temporarily, a fight with his two-time opponent makes the most sense, because it is a great opportunity for the Irishman to bounce back from arguably the worst defeat of his career.
Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal has expressed his desire to share the Octagon with McGregor. Although Masvidal fights at welterweight, a division above McGregor, they can surely plan something out if they are willing to lock horns.
It’s a great stylistic matchup for both fighters, who are predominantly strikers. None of the two like to take the fight to the mat, and given the fact that both have had their struggles with grapplers in the past, they’ll be a great fit for each other. But with that being said, it’s a pretty risky fight for McGregor because Masvidal is known for his durability.
— Needing Art? (@needingartwork) January 23, 2020
He has never been knocked out in his career, and McGregor knocks people out for a living. It’s a super fun fight.
Earlier this month, McGregor announced that he was planning to compete against everybody in the UFC lightweight division. If that’s truly the case, a fight against Tony Ferguson would be a perfect fit. Both are coming off losses, both want to get their hands on the title, and Ferguson has been a vocal critic of the Irish superstar on social media.
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 24, 2021
It’s a great fight for McGregor to bounce right back into the title picture. It is also a good matchup because Ferguson tends to engage in firefights, and that’s a huge risk against a fighter with The Notorious’ pedigree.
Dan Hooker was brutally knocked out in the first round by newcomer Michael Chandler in the co-main event of UFC 257. The New Zealander sits at sixth place in the lightweight rankings and McGregor is ranked fourth, and both suffered defeats on the same card.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
With Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement now guaranteed, the lightweight title race is wide open, and both McGregor and Hooker would love to jump right back into it, despite their setbacks. Therefore, it’ll only make sense if they fight.
It’s also a good stylistic matchup for McGregor.
Knowing McGregor, he would definitely want his next fight to be against a top-five contender or a relatively popular name, but if he’s looking for someone in the top-15, Al Iaquinta would be an interesting matchup.
In fact, he has expressed his desire to settle some personal scores with ‘Raging’ Al, and this might be the best time to do so.
@thenotoriousmma wants to fight @aliaquinta ! Fan favorite vs fighter favorite? Spread the word! @raylongomma #conormcgregor #khabibnurmagomedov #fightisland #ufc #mma #ragingal @law_mma @serrabjjacademy Credit goes to @arielhelwani on this video pic.twitter.com/dWm2pSRkdx
— Nick Lamagna (@NickLamagnaInv) January 17, 2021
Who do you think Conor McGregor should fight next after his loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257?
In the other two events on Fight Island, Max Holloway beat Calvin Kattar via a dominant unanimous decision at UFC Fight Island 7, and Michael Chiesa beat Neil Magny via a comfortable decision at UFC Fight Island 8.
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