Conor McGregor revealed after his shock defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 that he will drop back to the featherweight division.
The Irishman, nicknamed the ‘Notorious’, will have no shortage of challenges for his next bout. He is, after all, the title holder.
Jose Aldo, who surrendered his belt to McGregor at UFC 194 in December, demanded a rematch on Twitter, telling the 27-year-old he has “nowhere to run now”.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Article continues below
Though a rematch with the Brazilian certainly looks likely at some point, Aldo isn’t certain to be McGregor’s next opponent.
He’s expected back in the octagon at UFC 200 on July 9, and we had a look at three possible contenders.
Article continues below
Aldo hadn’t lost in 10 years before McGregor came along and knocked him out in 13 seconds.
So he definitely wants another shot at the brash Dubliner.
He tweeted after McGregor lost to Diaz: “See ya at #UFC200, @TheNotoriousMAA. Your fairy tale is over. You got nowhere to run now. Time to a rematch, p***y.”
McGregor wasn’t too happy with Aldo’s taunt, saying: “Another man gets a victory over me and he celebrates it. That’s the sign of a loser, that’s the sign of a runner-up, not the sign of a champion.”
It remains to be seen if McGregor will go elsewhere as a result of Aldo’s shot at him. One thing that is for certain, though, is that fans deserve a fight that goes longer than 13 seconds.
Frankie Edgar has won his past five fights and desperately wants to be McGregor’s next opponent.
The American, who knocked out Chad Mendes after just two minutes and 28 seconds at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, believes the Irishman is avoiding him.
He said last week: “Everything he does is calculated, to me, that’s also a sign that he’s scared to fight me."
A fight against the experienced Edgar would certainly be a tough one for McGregor in his first title defence.
McGregor beat Max Holloway by unanimous decision in 2013 but the American has stepped up his game in the three years since.
He’s won eight straight fights, including wins over Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson.
Like Aldo and Edgar, Hollway has voiced his burning desire to take on the in-demand champion.
“I can’t wait to rematch that guy," he said. “I’m not saying that when we fight again, I’m going to win and this and that, I’m just saying that — everybody was saying the first fight was good, and I should be happy I went to a decision with him."
Holloway was only 21-years-old when he first stepped into the octagon with McGregor but the Notorious should be wary of a hungry fighter this time around.