What’s Next for “The Notorious”?
After ten long and gruesome rounds in what was hyped up to become the fight of the century, the $300 million fight is finally over. In TKO style, we saw Floyd “Money” Mayweather defeat ‘The Notorious” Conor McGregor for his fiftieth consecutive boxing victory.
McGregor came out strong, attacking Floyd from multiple angles, and even landed some great punches early on. According to many, including the Showtime scorecard, McGregor had won the first three rounds of the bout. Shortly afterwards, the experience and patience of Mayweather wound up taking over the fight.
Mayweather promised the fans around the world a show, and that is just what he gave us. We viewed a lot more offense than we’re used to normally seeing from the veteran. Within rounds 5-10, it was obvious that the fatigue was getting to McGregor, which is something Mayweather likely noticed during his film session of McGregor vs Diaz (I and II).
After the fight, McGregor was asked multiple times on what would be next for him. The 29-year old noted that he still has two belts in the UFC to dominate, and would likely wait to see what comes his way. In the eyes of most, including myself, he will likely return to the sport he has dominated for years.
Other outside sources have rumored that Paulie Malignaggi is interested in coming out of retirement to go up against McGregor, but the more you think about it, the more unrealistic it sounds. On the other hand, the same sources have indicated that Malignaggi wants a “winner take all” bet with McGregor, which could prove to be noteworthy in the future.
Pending McGregor’s almost certain return, who will be his next opponent? His last fight within the octagon was against Eddie Alvarez last November, which resulted in him becoming the first ever two-division champion within the UFC.
Could we see it be against Tony Ferguson, who is currently riding a nine-fight win streak? This could spark McGregor’s interest, as Ferguson has recently pleaded for the UFC to vacate McGregor’s belt.
How about Khabib Nurmagomedov, who happens to be the #1 contender for the lightweight division? With eight victories in the UFC, his record is currently 24-0. Planning this bout towards the end of 2017 would give Nurmagoedov enough time to meet weight requirements, as well as heal from his current injury. McGregor has previously expressed interest in this potential match, and has even asked for it to take place in Russia, the country in which Nurmagomedov was raised.
The fight on everyone’s minds is the unfinished business between Nate Diaz and McGregor. We saw Diaz win the first bout via submission, whereas McGregor came away with the rematch in a decision. Is Diaz looking to return to the octagon in 2017? Is an immediate trilogy match-up healthy for the UFC?
There are a lot of routes McGregor could take in terms of his next fight, but time will surely tell on whether he remains in boxing, or returns immediately to the UFC.
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