Conor McGregor will have some very tricky questions to answer over the coming months.
McGregor's career has entered a unexpected stage of limbo following his crushing loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
McGregor entered the clash as the overwhelming favourite but was systematically dismantled by Poirier's far superior performance.
The fight ultimately ended in a stunning second-round knockout as Poirier finally exacted his revenge on McGregor.
Poirier, who was full value for his win, put on a performance fit for a title challenger.
For McGregor, that two-round humbling may have sent his career down a completely different trajectory than he had planned.
Before the fight, rumours were rife of massive rematches and crossover fights but now nobody seems interested in Conor.
The news only got worse on Tuesday when the UFC released their newly updated rankings for the lightweight division.
McGregor was nowhere to be seen inside the top five, with Poirier earning himself a tasty spot atop the tree.
Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson both rose above McGregor, who slipped as far as sixth due to his questionable record of 3-3 from his last six fights.
With Khabib Nurmagomedov retaining the title in retirement, the new standings read as follows:
1. Dustin Poirier
2. Justin Gaethje
3. Charles Oliviera
4. Michael Chandler
5. Tony ferguson
6. Conor McGregor
7. Rafael Dos Anjos
8. Dan Hooker
9. Paul Felder
10. Diego Ferreira
For McGregor, the next move can only be to secure a rematch with Poirier that would settle the score which stands at one fight each.
Whether Poirier would be interested in such a fight remains to be seen, as you can be certain he will have his eyes firmly set on a title shot.
McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh, is hopeful that a trilogy can be secured as soon as May, despite concerns over the leg injury McGregor suffered in the Fight Island bout.
“It’s one apiece," Kavanagh began, speaking to Ariel Helwani.
"They’re right up there in the rankings, they’re very popular fighters and I think, stylistically, it’s a beautiful match-up to watch. I’d love to see lots and lots of rounds of the two of them.
“Obviously Dustin is riding high with confidence now and with the more experience and added weight, he was able to take some of those shots. I’m sure his confidence is super-high at the moment.
“We have to fix that technique with the leg and watch out for a couple of other things as well.
But Dustin vs. Conor III for the belt in maybe May or something like that, wouldn’t that be amazing?
Whatever happens between the pair, one thing has become painfully clear: Conor simply has to win his next fight.News Now - Sport News