There is nothing more interesting in the MMA world currently than the “Mcgregor Sweepstakes”. The question everyone wants to know including the fighters themselves is, “whose getting the payday ?”
Last Saturday’s card on Fox turned into a Conor Mcgregor brand promo show with his name being called out and challenged after almost every main card fight. There are four fighters that are in the running or at least announced themselves as such. Those four are Nate Diaz, Jose Aldo, Rafael Dos Anjos and Frankie Edgar.
Breaking each down figuring which one is the best match up depends on who your asking and what exactly are you trying to accomplish. If your talking about championships and what is actually the “right thing to do”, Frankie Edgar is the obvious choice. He offers credibility and big name status at 145lbs. It seems to be the logical choice but there is nothing logical about the UFC at times.
Even though Edgar is a former champion at 155lbs, a top contender at 145lbs and a future Hall Of Famer, does he have enough drawing power to justify that match up? You also must consider the weight cut Mcgregor has to make to get to 145lbs and how soon he is willing to drop again. The soonest this match up will happen either way is in July so if the “Notorious One” wants to fight earlier then I think it is either Diaz or Dos Anjos.
It’s obvious now that Jose Aldo is not getting the immediate rematch because I think we all have had enough of “Aldo vs Mcgregor” by now plus the fight ended in such a way that Aldo could use a fight or two to gain promotional momentum to garner the rematch.
I also think it’s in Aldo’s best interest to take a break from this this guy in his face and turn his attention to a new opponent. Let’s face it, Aldo got “torched” quickly no matter the reason. He was over confident and did not take Mcgregor seriously enough walking right into the “left hook” instantly. He needs to get active and fight again. He has not been a very busy fighter as it is, does not speak any English and has been injury prone. The UFC is not overly happy with him anyways.
Analyzing whether he will choose either Dos Anjos or Diaz depends on what the UFC or Mcgregor is trying to accomplish. Only one offers a championship belt but the other is much more interesting for fans and would draw in outside interest.
Diaz is as controversial as there is. He swears on camera in interviews and is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in the UFC. Diaz is never involved in a boring fight win or lose and has fought for a title in the past. He also will go “head to head”or should I say “mouth to mouth”leading up to the fight with Conor nor Nate backing down for one second.
The press tour would be so entertaining that a team of security would need to travel with them to make sure each actually make it to “fight day” with no injuries. This would be must watch tv !!! Can you imagine these two “talking shit” to each other ? Wow…..I got sweaty palms thinking about it. It would be interesting to see if the “Stockton Sensation” could handle the pre fight all out “mental warfare” assault from Mcgregor.
Throw in his brother Nick and you could seriously have a real life gang fight because we all know he will not stay quiet. Its possible that Mcgregor may choose to move up yet again just to fight Nick by the end of all this. The whole thing would be a circus and a money making frenzy. Not one person would miss this !!! The question is whether the UFC wants to go in that direction and the now important question, “what does Conor want ?”
The only choice left is Rafael Dos Anjos and this is another logical choice and prolly makes the most sense because of the lack of weight cut and the 155lb pound belt. This match up would garner a lot of interest mostly because of “the Irishman” but also because Dos Anjos proved to be one of the best champions at any weight in the UFC by completely destroying Donald Cerrone in 66 seconds. It was a fight most hoped Cerrone would win to set up the Mcgregor fight up but that certainly did not happen.
The quick finish legitimized Dos Anjos and proved he will be no easy task as an opponent. He is bigger and stronger with better wrestling/bjj as well. It would prove to be a very “tough” challenge for the 145lb champion but we all have learned not to doubt him anymore.
I believe Mcgregor can beat either Diaz or Dos Anjos and will fight both eventually but Diaz needs another win and it would just further set up the fight more so in the future assuming Mcgregor keeps up his current pace.
It’s bad enough that Edgar is not “next up” with no question therefore in my opinion we will see Mcgregor vs Dos Anjos in April for the title.
It looks like Dos Anjos has a bit more fire power and back bone to hold his own during the build up as well. It’s just gonna be the challenge of getting his name out to the average “so so” fan. The UFC did it with Holly Holm and I am sure they can do it again with him.
Now the only thing left for Dos Anjos to do after writing his “Thank You” card to Mcgregor is get to Victoria Secret ASAP, the celebration is just about to begin !!!
James Brasco is a world class grappler and professional MMA fighter. He is a second degree black belt in BJJ under Pablo Popovitch and brings a unique perspective from both on the mat and in the cage.