UFC fans have voted for Conor McGregor's next opponent

Conor McGregor has been a man in high demand ever since the early days of his UFC career.

However, following his 40-second demolition of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on Saturday, “Notorious” has a wealth of options to choose from for his next combat sports contest.

McGregor (22-4) became the first competitor in UFC history to score knockout victories in three different weight classes following his win this past weekend – and has no shortage of opponents offering their services when he decides to return to action. 

Indeed, interest in fighting McGregor next has not just been limited to the MMA world – with boxing superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao both releasing separate mock fight posters featuring themselves and McGregor in an effort to secure a boxing bout against the Irishman.

The man himself, though, seems firmly set on his next engagement taking place under the UFC banner, having previously revealed that he is viewing the 2020 calendar year as a “season” and intends to fight at least three times before the turn of the year.

With this in mind, MMA journalist Chamatkar Sandhu took to Twitter to ask fans to vote in a poll on who they would like to see as McGregor’s next opponent.

Four options were included on the virtual ballot; UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz, or a meeting with the winner of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson lightweight title fight due to take place in April at UFC 249.

Each scenario certainly has its own unique appeal, but it was top welterweight contender Masvidal who emerged victorious from Sandhu’s poll, securing 41% of the vote.

The 35-year-old American enjoyed an outstanding 2019, claiming knockout victories over Darren Till, Ben Askren and the aforementioned Diaz. “Gambred” also attracted much attention at ringside on Saturday night, choosing to attend the fight in a black Versace robe – almost identical to the one that McGregor had worn prior to his August 2017 boxing bout with Mayweather.

The always-outspoken Masvidal would be the perfect foil for McGregor and the trash talk between the pair in the build-up to a bout would no doubt be epic. The fight would, however, would have to take place in the welterweight division – and many have argued that McGregor’s optimum weight class is down at lightweight.

One man who is keen to see McGregor drop into the lighter weight class is UFC president Dana White – who openly admitted that he wanted to make a McGregor vs Nurmagomedov rematch for the 155-pound championship.

The pair’s initial meeting at UFC 229 in October 2018 drew a company-record 2.4 million pay-per-view buys and was shrouded in post-fight controversy. A rematch would surely do great business for the UFC once again.

McGregor himself has always insisted that he believes he will rematch Nurmagomedov – and wants to do so in Moscow. If the current lightweight king is successful in his upcoming defence against Ferguson, then a second instalment with McGregor seems highly likely.

McGregor, of course, has other lucrative options moving forward.

A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz received 18% of the vote and is a bout that fans have been asking for ever since McGregor defeated Diaz in August 2016 to level their rivalry at one bout a piece.

In addition, a showdown with Usman for the welterweight championship could see McGregor make yet more history – offering him the chance to become champion in an unprecedented third weight division.

Interestingly though, fans do not seem enamoured with potential clash, as it received just 5% of votes in Sandhu’s poll.

Whichever way he chooses to go next, the return of Conor McGregor has attracted massive interest and UFC looks set for a huge year in 2020.

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