In the main event of UFC 205, UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor made history by knocking out lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously. Moments after the Irishman’s history-making victory, the MMA community was already debating as to who his next opponent should be.
Really, there are five clear options for McGregor’s next fight: interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, long-time rival Nate Diaz, or one of two top-ranked lightweights in Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
On Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy discussed the possibility of a bout with Nurmagomedov. While he was very complimentary of the Russian’s skill set, his issue with this prospective bout is that he’s not sure it’ll sell pay-per-views on the same scale as a McGregor vs. Woodley or McGregor vs. Diaz bout.
More pay-per-view sales, of course, means more money, which we know is very important to McGregor.
“You can’t really doubt Khabib at this stage now,” Roddy said on the show. “He’s a phenomenal grappler, a phenomenal wrestler, but I don’t know whether the excitement is there, you know? Obviously, for Conor, it’s about the pay-per-views, about the money. Whether Khabib will hit the pay-per-views for him, I don’t know, but he’s definitely there [in the mix]. He poses a different threat, so it would be good to try and work out the strikes that are going to land on him.”
“He can be hit as well, I will say that,” Roddy continued. “He got hit a bit [against Darrell Horcher] and the same again [against Michael Johnson]. I believe that if you give Conor a chance to land once, I don’t know whether people can come back from that. But, it would be definitely an interesting fight. They’re the three names I suppose: Khabib, Woodley — because it would be just insane — can you imagine the excitement of that? That would be crazy. And then, obviously, you can’t argue with the Nate fight again.”
What do you think of Roddy’s assessment of a McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov bout? Sound off, PENN Nation!