Conor McGregor’s return to action ended in failure as he suffered the first KO/TKO of his MMA career at UFC 257. So what is next for ‘The Notorious’? Retirement? A return to boxing? A rematch with an old rival? BettingPro.com looks at the options on the table for Conor McGregor.
Conor McGregor’s Next Fight
In the build-up to his rematch with Dustin Poirier there were rumours that McGregor could make a return to boxing later this year. The Irishman famously lost to Floyd Mayweather when he crossed over to the ‘sweet science’ to face the unbeaten ace back in the summer of 2017, but since then he has repeatedly stated his desire to have another boxing bout and reports claimed he was on the brink of inking a deal to face another icon of the sport, Manny Pacquiao, in 2021.
However, the chances of that happening have taken a major shot with the stoppage loss to Poirier. A bout against a lesser opponent could get McGregor back into the boxing ring and help to build up the possibility of a fight with Pacquiao down the line, but that is highly unlikely so when McGregor does fight again it is likely to be inside the Octagon. That’s if he fights. After all, the former featherweight and lightweight champion has ‘retired’ from the spot on multiple occasions.
McGregor insists he will not be hanging up his gloves despite his second defeat in his last three UFC bouts, and he has pinpointed a trilogy fight with either Poirier or Nate Diaz as possible contests that will lure him back into the cage in the coming months. Both bouts would certainly draw plenty of interest with McGregor 1-1 against each of those men, but perhaps the UFC will want to get the Conor hype train going again with a couple of ‘warm-up’ fights, much like the January 2020 meeting with Donald Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ had plenty of name value, but he was also tailor-made for McGregor and is coming towards the end of his career himself.
There will be no shortage of options for McGregor if he does look to continue fighting and we will have the latest info on Conor McGregor’s next fight right here.
When Is Conor McGregor’s Next Fight?
So as you already know, McGregor’s next opponent is yet to be confirmed so it goes without saying that there is no official date for his second bout of 2021. However, the Irishman has claimed he wants to be very active over the next 18 months, claiming he wants to fight seven times in that spell, and following the stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier he suggested the loss was down to his inactivity over the past few year. McGregor has fought just three times since his August 2017 defeat to Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring!
“It’s heart-breaking and hard to take,” he told reporters at the UFC 257 post-fight press conference. “My leg is completely dead. It’s like an American football in my suit at the minute. If you put in the time in here, you’re going to get cosy in here and I just have to dust it off and come back and that’s what I will do. I need activity, you don’t get away with being inactive in this business. As long as you stay active and as long as you compete, things shape around you. You show up, you reap the rewards. That’s what happened for Dustin and it’s what’s happened against me. I’ll keep my eyes on the prize. Don’t write me off yet, I’ll make my adjustments and keep moving. I’ll go back, get healthy and I’ll re-prepare. I’ve got to a great place in my body physically and I’ll continue to grow that.”
McGregor will have to adapt his plans though – medically he has been suspended for up to six months in the wake of the KO/TKO loss to Poirier and that means he is unlikely to return before August 2021.
Where Will Conor McGregor’s Next Fight Take Place?
No opponent. No date. So of course, no venue. However, that does not mean we cannot look at the options available to McGregor and the UFC. A homecoming fight in a stadium in Ireland would draw huge numbers, but until the UFC can put a capacity crowd into a stadium it is unlikely that that will happen, especially for McGregor’s first fight in Ireland for quite some time.
So that leaves them with two more options. Of course, the first of those options is a return to ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, the scene of McGregor’s loss to Poirier. ‘UFC Fight Island’ has become a staple of the UFC calendar over the past several months, with the promotion holding multiple events there, and it is likely to become an international home for the UFC for many years to come. And given that fans can now attend events there, the UFC has the ability to sell tickets, create an atmosphere and, of course, pay the bills that come with a McGregor fight.
The second option is a fight in the United States, either at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas or inside a stadium somewhere in the country. Multiple NFL fans have been allowing fans back into stadiums over the past couple of months and the Super Bowl is set to host over 20,000 fans. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – a massive venue that when fully open can host 100,000 people – has been hosting boxing events and McGregor is no stranger to the venue having visited for a Dallas Cowboys game previously. And of course, Florida remains pretty much ‘open for business’ so the combination of the weather and several outdoor stadiums makes that an option too.
Conor McGregor’s Last Fight
Conor McGregor’s most recent outing was an historic one as he suffered his first ever stoppage loss by strikes in the MMA ranks. ‘The Notorious’ three previous defeats in mixed martial arts had all come via stoppage and up until his January 2021 meeting with Dustin Poirier he had only been stopped by KO/TKO inside the boxing ring. So what went wrong for the Irishman when he rematched Poirier, a man he had taken out inside a round several years earlier?
Poirier has grown leaps and bounds since the first meeting between the pair and was expected to be more of a handful for the Irishman this time around, but McGregor made a promising start and took the first round with all three judges. However, Poirier had been laying in the groundwork with a series of leg kicks and it was a tactic he continued to use in the second to slow down and hobble the former two-weight champion. Poirier then went in for the kill. He backed McGregor up against the fence and began to unload with a series of heavy punches that soon sent the Irishman tumbling to the canvas. A couple of follow-up strikes later and it was all over.
“I’ll pick myself up, get up off the floor and go again,” the 32-year-old insisted afterwards. “It wasn’t my night, but no excuses. It’s a b*****d of a game. There’s not a mark on my face and I wasn’t all rattled or anything, I just had no leg [to stand on properly due to the leg kicks]. But fair f****** play to him, he fought well.”
How Can I Watch The Conor McGregor Fight?
BT Sport continues to hold broadcast rights to the UFC in the United Kingdom so any Conor McGregor fight in future will undoubtedly be broadcast on BT Sport Box Office, with the PPV price likely to be set at around £20.
What Time Is The Conor McGregor Fight?
McGregor fights are a major draw in the United States so when he does return to action it will be an event that is timed to suit the biggest PPV market and money generator for the UFC. That means another late night/early morning for fight fans in the UK and Ireland with the PPV unlikely to start before 3am GMT and McGregor unlikely to make his ring walk before 4:30 am GMT at the absolute earliest.
Conor McGregor Facts & Stats
|Record||22 wins (19 KO/TKO, 1 sub), 5 losses (1 KO/TKO, 3 sub)|
|Striking Accuracy||49% (543 significant strikes landed, 1100 attempted)*|
|Grappling Accuracy||63% (8 takedown attempted)*|
|Average Fight Time||8 minutes, 20 seconds*|
|Stance||Southpaw (often switches to orthodox during fight)|
|UFC Debut||April 6th, 2013|
|Fastest UFC Win||Jose Aldo KO, 13 seconds (December 12th, 2015)|
|Titles||UFC featherweight, UFC lightweight, Cage
Warriors featherweight, Cage Warriors lightweight
|Date Of Birth||July 14th, 1988|
|Birth Place||Crumlin, Ireland|
- * Correct as of January 22, 2021