McGregor hasn’t fought since a leg injury he suffered at UFC 264 in July 2021. He’s been recovering ever since but is nearing a possible return at welterweight as the new year begins.
Many have speculated who McGregor should face in his first fight back in the Octagon. Old rivals such as Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz have been teased, and Michael Chandler has been the odds-on favorite in recent weeks.
McGregor will need to re-enter the USADA testing pool for six months to be eligible to compete. It could be a bit before fans see McGregor return, although that hasn’t stopped many from putting different names in the mix.
O’Malley thinks McGregor should face the brother of a two-time rival in his next fight.
Sean O’Malley Thinks Nick Diaz Would Be Biggest Fight For Conor McGregor
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, O’Malley said Nick Diaz would be the biggest pay-per-view fight for McGregor’s 2023 comeback.
“The biggest fight, as far as pay-per-view sales I’d say Nick Diaz, would be the biggest,” O’Malley said.
If the Diaz fight doesn’t come to fruition, O’Malley has a couple of other names in mind for McGregor.
“But realistically, maybe Jorge [Masvidal], Michael Chandler… no easy fights though,” O’Malley said.
Diaz wants a shot at former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya this year. It’s uncertain if he’ll return at middleweight or welterweight for his first fight since UFC 266.
Diaz and McGregor expressed a profound interest in fighting each other back in 2016. This came amidst McGregor’s first fight with Nick’s brother, Nate, at UFC 196.
McGregor could still face Nate in a trilogy in the future, although a timeframe is uncertain after Nate’s UFC release. A fight with Nick would keep the storyline of McGregor vs. the Diaz brothers afloat.
A fight with Jorge Masvidal would also make sense for McGregor’s welterweight aspirations. While Masvidal has lost three straight fights, he brings the name value that McGregor covets.
McGregor facing an aging veteran in his return wouldn’t be surprising after he faced Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. As McGregor and Diaz both near potential returns, O’Malley thinks the timing is right for a scrap.
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