Dustin Poirier dusted Conor McGregor so hard he broke his ankle. Sort of. The aftermath of the pair’s trilogy on Saturday night saw McGregor leave on a stretcher and Poirier still refusing to bury the hatchet. Both men will fight again in the near future. But it’s time for some fresh matchups for these two.
Poirier’s Next Opponents
Oliveira Title Bout
The most logical and deserving fight for Poirier is to fight Charles Oliveira for the UFC Lightweight title. UFC President Dana White confirmed that Poirier will get a title shot and Oliveira himself seemed intrigued with the possibility of going to “war” with Poirier.
Thinking of this fight should make fans salivate. While Oliveira does not have the household name of McGregor, he’s been one of the UFC’s most exciting fighters. Together, Poirier and Oliveira have combined for 29 post-fight bonuses. This fight will likely favor Poirier on the betting lines and will be a complete joy to watch.
As great as the title fight vs Oliveira could be, a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov will be even greater. The retired former champion is the only fighter to have beaten Poirier in the last five years. It’s unlikely he will come out of retirement, but seeing Poirier destroy McGregor not only once, but twice, probably has Nurmagomedov smirking somewhere.
Nurmagomedov is unbeaten at 29-0 and there is a possibility that he comes out of retirement at some point. He will be another big betting favorite in a hypothetical rematch against Poirier even if Poirier is the new champion at that point.
Usman For UFC Welterweight Title
This fight vs Kamaru Usman is going to happen in the near future. Bet on it. Once Poirier captures the lightweight title, he either rematches Nurmagomedov or books a “superfight” against the welterweight king himself. Usman has been unbeatable at welterweight and is already running out of big-name contenders to fight.
This will be a blockbuster of a fight and will easily break one million in pay-per-view buys as both fighters are the hottest they’ve ever been. Expect Usman to be a sizable favorite when this fight is booked. But don’t be so quick to underestimate Poirier.
McGregor’s Next Opponents
Nate Diaz Trilogy
This seems to be the most logical bout for McGregor when he returns from injury. Like his old nemesis, Diaz is on a two-fight skid and is very choosy of his fights. The two have split on their bouts, with Diaz winning the first and McGregor getting the second. A third bout will likely favor McGregor slightly on the UFC odds.
Even if both fighters are also on losing streaks, this third bout will still be highly watched. Both Diaz and McGregor continue to have loyal fan bases and are stars that transcend the sport. Plus, it will be another exciting brawl that should earn another Fight of the Night bonus.
MMA can be downright merciless but it shouldn’t come as a surprise if McGregor gets booked against Sanchez. McGregor needs a win badly and he’s not fighting an unranked Joe Blow. This is where Sanchez comes in. The longtime veteran is widely known around the MMA world and has been linked to McGregor in the past.
Sanchez was recently cut by the UFC thanks to the antics of his hare-brained ex-manager, Josh Fabia. But Sanchez has since cut ties with him and could return to the UFC for one last fight. Going out on his shield against McGregor would be a cruel, albeit fitting end to his storied MMA career.
A Paul Brother in Boxing Exhibition
McGregor versus either Logan or Jake Paul in an exhibition boxing match trumps all the other fights on this list in terms of its box office potential. Jake Paul has been persistent in trash-talking McGregor and even got a custom necklace of a knocked out McGregor.
aye @DustinPoirier want me to ship this to you?
$100k gift from me
I think you deserve it
Paul Paul (@jakepaul) July 11, 2021
Before his second fight with Poirier, McGregor was already hinting at a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao. That would be harder to do now with McGregor suffering an injury and another loss. But a circus fight against either Paul’s brother, even if White hates both, could be too lucrative to pass up.