Although Conor McGregor is going to be taking time off from competing in the UFC, that hasn’t stopped fighters from throwing their names into the mix regarding a potential fight with the Irishman.
With a May 2017 return the earliest speculated return date for the lightweight champion, it seems that there’s still an interest to get him inside of the Octagon when he’s back, and each fight is something fans want to see.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has remained the most vocal out of everyone that has called him out, but it seems like he’s now targeting a bout with Tony Ferguson in March for the interim lightweight title.
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Nate Diaz wants a trilogy fight, while Frankie Edgar is also a name that’s been discussed.
However, based on events that occurred backstage at UFC 205, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has emerged as a legitimate option for McGregor - and he's open to a contest between the pair.
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McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, isn’t as keen on the idea, though, with Diaz his preferred option.
But if the fight has to happen, the SBG Ireland head coach told The MMA Hour this week that Notorious can prove the critics wrong, and stand a genuine chance of toppling The Chosen One.
He said: “I don’t see why not. I don’t know. Maybe it won’t happen.
“We’ve got so many irons in the fire at this stage. But I don’t see what other people are saying, ‘There’s no way Conor can tough this guy.’
“There is. No one is perfect. There’s openings there. Of course, he’s a bigger man; he’s got more power and you’ve gotta be super careful.
“But Conor trains with big guys like this. I see him do amazing things in the gym all the time.”
It’s no secret that Woodley is the bigger man, and it would remain that way should this fight ever occur.
However, with their dimensions almost identical – while McGregor may even have a reach advantage – it would be unfair to solely judge the outcome of this fight based on the size of both fighters.
Jon Jones also spoke out earlier this week, suggesting that there are ways McGregor can defeat Woodley, especially if he continued to throw his favoured heavy right overhand as it’s something that he’ll be able to capitalise on.
Although he brings a lot more to the Octagon than a right hand, Kavanagh doesn’t think the problems his fighter will face is something he won’t be able to overcome.
He added: “He’s not enormous. He’s not some Goliath man. He’s a little bit bigger.
“Conor would have reach on him; he would have technique on him in the striking, for sure. He’d have to, of course, deal with that power…I certainly don’t go in my head go, ‘Oh my God, no. We couldn’t possibly beat him.’
“It’s a doable fight.”
Woodley seems ready for the fight; now we must wait and see who Notorious picks next as his opponent in 2017.
Can Conor McGregor defeat Tyron Woodley at welterweight? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.