UFC Talk: Who will Conor face next?
Conor is out with a bad injury. We all know this. But we also know that he is the biggest money maker the UFC has ever known and is a massive draw. He makes stars out of people that we didn't think much about such as Nate Diaz, who I have always liked but his stock went up BIG TIME after submitting McGregor several years ago.
It's difficult to tell if these 2 really hate eachother as much as their public opines about one another go. It could all just be a massive coordinated hype train to ensure that big PPV numbers come in. One thing is for sure though, their bouts against one another are never boring and they attract huge crowds both in person and as far as pay per view sales are concerned.
Dana White like some of his fighters and doesn't like others, just like any human but there is one thing that Dana and most other people in the world like a lot and that is money.
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McGregor is still the most bankable star in the UFC no matter what he gets into and he is by far the best paid UFC superstar of all time. There isn't anyone else that even comes close. Dana White would therefore probably prefer to keep Conor relevant for a long as possible.
The other day some friends of mine and myself were talking about what we think will be Conor's first fight when he returns and the conclusion that we came to is that Dana will probably do what he did last time and give him a fight that he will almost certainly win, probably with someone that is about to retire or is looking for one big payday which is something that is all-but-guaranteed if you facing off against Conor.
We don't know who that would be but the name we came up with was Tony Ferguson, who has seen a real fall from grace since 2019 and appears to be on the way out. The coincidence about the last time he won being against Cowboy Cerrone is also something that could be a factor for UFC to market.
Unless it is buried somewhere that I can't find I don't think these two have ever faced off against one another. If I am wrong about that I feel a bit ashamed but it isn't easy keeping up with every single fight that has ever happened. Let's just say that I don't think that they have.
There are a couple of reasons why this would be a great fight and the one that is probably the most important to Dana White is the fact that at least on paper, McGregor looks like he could win this one. Tony tends to come out of the gate screaming and this can be very entertaining even though it has actually worked to his own detriment in the past couple of years. He isn't the best at saving energy for later in the fight, but it could easily be said that the same is true of McGregor.
Also, neither one of these guys are boring fighters. They don't bide their time and they go in for the kill constantly.
The biggest reason why this fight would be great from Dana's point of view is that if Conor can pull off a win, especially by KO or submission, it would propel him back into the spotlight and make it possible for Dana to give him an undeserved shot at the belt again. I've always said that the system the UFC uses to determine who is going to go for the belt doesn't seem to make a lot of sense as people in the top 5 are routinely "leapfrogged" because someone below them is able to generate a lot of hype and talk a good game to create controversy.
Conor is the king of this.
The fact of the matter is that Conor has a ton of negotiating power since any PPV he is involved in ends up having massive numbers so while I don't think that White and the top UFC brass would ever give him a chance at the belt right away, in the end a lot of the decision about who Conor will face next will probably be left up to Conor.
At the moment Conor keeps harping on about how he wants another shot at Poirier, but this could be bad news for Dana, since a defeat by The Diamond would kind of put McGregor out of the top spot for good.
I think that a Tony Ferguson vs McGregor would be an amazing choice for the UFC and of course, it would be an amazing fight to watch and would probably break PPV records yet again.
What do you think?