Odds have been released for Conor McGregor's next opponent

UFC 246 McGregor v Cowboy: Weigh-Ins

UFC 246 was a huge success for both the UFC and Conor McGregor.

The Irishman blitzed Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds in the evening's main event to emphatically mark his return to the sport.

No sooner had McGregor's victory been officially announced, though, than attention turned to who the man known as "Notorious" is likely to face next. 

Per bjpenn.com, an American bookmaker was quick to price up the contenders for McGregor's next assignment - and there are several high profile names included.

Jorge Masvidal (1/2 favourite)

The 35-year-old American (35-13) enjoyed a remarkable career renaissance in 2019, reeling off high profile wins at welterweight against the likes of Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.

His victory over Askren was particularly impressive, as Masvidal finished the fight in a UFC record of just five seconds. The stock of "Gamebred" has never been higher and undoubtedly has the verbal skills to promote a fight with McGregor.

The idea of the fight is also something that UFC would seem to be open to - given that they interviewed Masvidal at ringside just moments before McGregor made his walk to the ring on Saturday night.

In addition, Masvidal does not currently have another fight booked - meaning that he is free to face McGregor as soon as a fight can be agreed. A worthy favourite.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (3/1)

A rematch between McGregor and current lightweight champion Nurmagomedov (28-0) is something that both McGregor himself and UFC president Dana White seem very keen on.

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

The pair's first clash at UFC 229 in October 2018 generated some 2.4 million pay-per-view buys on its way to becoming the most lucrative bout in company history.

A major stumbling block here, though, would be that Nurmagomedov has already signed to defend his championship against top contender Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April. Furthermore, as a devout muslim, he observes Ramadan shortly after the Ferguson fight - putting him out of contention to fight until September at the earliest.

Given that he only fought for 40 seconds on Saturday night, it is unlikely that McGregor would want to wait until September for his next contest. The fight will almost certainly happen - but may well not be next for McGregor.  

Justin Gaethje (6/1)

A fight that we were reportedly set to see last summer before injury sidelined McGregor, a bout with Justin Gaethje (21-2) would be as close to a guaranteed crowd-pleaser as one can get in MMA.

For his part, 31-year-old Gaethje has long campaigned for a meeting with McGregor - and was reportedly upset that Cerrone was selected ahead of him for the UFC 246 main event. The fight would also appear to be one of the more favourable for McGregor from the options available.

Unfortunately for Gaethje, he does not yet have the name recognition of the other men who would seem to be under consideration - and this could count against him in the race to be Notorious' next foe.

Kamaru Usman (9/1)

McGregor would have the opportunity to make UFC history should he face current welterweight champion Usman (16-1) next.

The Irishman would be able to call himself the only three-weight world champion in history if he were to defeat Usman for his championship.

UFC 235 Jones v Smith

As much appeal as this must hold, Usman is a formidable wrestler and holds many of the skills which McGregor struggled to deal with in his most recent defeat (to Nurmagomedov at lightweight).

Most consider McGregor to be a natural lightweight who would struggle against the very best fighters at welterweight. It is for this reason that a bout with Usman next has to be deemed unlikely.

Nate Diaz (10/1)

McGregor and Diaz are currently tied at one win apiece in their rivalry. The duo exchanged victories back in 2016 and it was assumed at the time that a rubber match would soon follow. It has not.

Indeed, Diaz has only fought once since that second McGregor fight and hardly seems in a rush to return to action.

The third instalment of McGregor vs Diaz will always be a possibility until either man retires - but it is far from probable as McGregor's next assignment.

UFC 244 Masvidal v Diaz

Floyd Mayweather (12/1)

Immediately following McGregor's victory this past weekend, Mayweather released a mock poster touting a rematch of his August 2017 boxing bout with McGregor.

On the basis that there is no realistic chance of Mayweather competing in an MMA bout, the suggested clash would have to be made under boxing rules.

Tony Ferguson (14/1)

If Ferguson (25-3) is able to defeat Nurmagomedov in their lightweight championship bout in April, then a potential McGregor meet becomes far more likely. However, without a title in his possession, Ferguson's current long odds accurately reflect his chances of being the next opponent.

Of all the names touted on the list above, all would be intriguing to fans on some level.

The odds suggest that we will be seeing Conor McGregor vs Jorge Masvidal before too long, but any bout featuring Notorious in 2020 looks sure to be a massive event.

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