What’s next for Conor McGregor? That’s the question we’re left asking after the Irish UFC superstar declared he was willing to fight ‘the next in line’ if Khabib Nurmagomedov refused to grant him an immediate rematch.
Knowing McGregor, it’s unlikely he’s talking about any of legit 155 pound contenders out there like Tony Ferguson or Dustin Poirier. Neither offers him the kind of money or inspiration he seems to demand from an opponent. Instead, we’re expecting something more off the wall. Perhaps Anderson Silva?
As silly as it sounds, McGregor called out Silva leading up to his fateful UFC 223 defeat to Nurmagomedov, and “The Spider” liked the idea so much he hasn’t stopped talking about it since. If the 155 pound McGregor does move up to somewhere around 180 pounds to face Anderson, Silva’s good friend “Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira knows who he’ll be betting on.
“Anderson can get to 176 pounds, and McGregor would have to pump some iron,” Nog told Brazilian outlet Combate (translated by Bloody Elbow). “I would bet my house and car on Anderson, he would knock him out. Anderson masters distance like nobody else. They’re both southpaws, Anderson is good with counters and McGregor is good at straight punches. It would sell. Anderson knows how to play the trash talking game. If he needs to put on that mask, he will.”
“I think it’s a super fight! Conor McGregor knows how to control distance well, but Anderson does it like nobody else. Derek Brunson is aggressive, knows how to close the distance, but couldn’t do anything against Anderson. The grappling aspect would be Anderson’s biggest obstacle. It would be a beautiful fight between two talented athletes who know how to punch and kick.”
Is McGregor crazy enough to take on the much, much, much larger Silva? We’re sure he is, if the money lines up. Business wise, we’re sure the UFC hates the idea. McGregor needs a win after his loss to Nurmagomedov, or his own pay-per-view sparkle may start to dim. We’d say don’t count on McGregor vs. Silva being next, but you really never know when it comes to Conor McGregor.
First things first, though. Before any outlandish superfight can be booked, McGregor will have to deal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is angling to punish him for his part in the Khabib Nurmagomedov brawl following their fight at UFC 223.