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4/4/16: Top future fights to make for Conor McGregor
The UFC’s current biggest pay-per-view draw is trying to get one back from Nate Diaz at UFC 200, but is that the best fight for the UFC to make for him? Here are my top five future matchups for the “Notorious” one.
1. Frankie Edgar: The one major featherweight fight McGregor hasn’t yet had is the one fight that remains most intriguing. Sure, he just got beat by a much bigger Nate Diaz last month, but that was on short notice 25 lbs. above his weight class. It means nothing as it pertains to his abilities at 145 lbs., and Edgar is still the opponent who brings the most interesting stylistic matchup there. Edgar’s run through the 145 lb. field has been a fantastic display of late career advancement, and a win over Jose Aldo for the former Lightweight Champ should make the McGregor fight a must-book matchup.
2. Nate Diaz: This is the fight currently booked for UFC 200, and though it’s highly intriguing, that is less so at 170 lbs. as it’s currently set. I’d be much more intrigued with the rematch at lightweight where McGregor isn’t giving up quite as much size, given Diaz himself would need to make weight. Having it take place at welterweight again gives McGregor a chance to win under highly similar circumstances, but that seems irrelevant to what the real intriguing division could be for the current Featherweight Champion.
3. Jose Aldo: This isn’t a must for McGregor, but closing the door on any potential idea that the win over the long-running champ is a fluke is and could be huge for the Irishman. Quite simply, Aldo isn’t fully taken care of, and a second matchup gives McGregor the opportunity to do what he couldn’t the first time around.
4. Rafael dos Anjos: The UFC’s Lightweight Champion has plenty of intriguing offense to work with, and as a stand alone fight is highly interesting. Is the pool open? Does McGregor get the chance to show his real family what he’s capable of doing in the cage? If so, it starts here.
5. Max Holloway: Holloway’s the only fighter to go the distance with McGregor in the UFC. The young Hawaiian is rising fast up the ranks, and hasn’t lost since that fight with McGregor in 2013. With eight wins in a row already, Holloway’s poised to be a contender much sooner than later, and that rematch will be a majorly intriguing challenge for the Irishman’s Featherweight Title.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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