P. J. Go | Thu 03/08/2017 - 06:17 EDT

Conor McGregor To Fight in UFC Again in 2017?

Conor McGregor To Fight in UFC Again in 2017?

Determining whether McGregor returns to the UFC in 2017 is about estimating the timeline. It usually takes the lightweight champion three months of prep time giving him only between the months of November to December to make his comeback. It's also about whether there are enough roadblocks to prevent him from returning sooner i.e. choosing to enjoy his wealth and family time, potential injury, and of course, talks of money. Fortunately, McGregor has some lucrative options.

Will McGregor Return To The UFC in 2017?
Betting Odds

Potential McGregor UFC Fights in 2017

Talks of McGregor retiring have ground but a hiatus seems more likely. Even Georges St-Pierre, who UFC President Dana White kept insisting was "done", has resurfaced and is due to fight soon. But if McGregor chooses to return to the octagon before year's end, he doesn't have a lot of options as far as opponents or events. The next New York card, UFC 217 on November 4 or the New Year's Eve card, UFC 219 on December 30 are the two likeliest events for the megastar to return to.

As far as his list of opponents, it will most likely boil down to which fighters will make McGregor the most money. The trilogy bout with arch nemesis Nate Diaz is the frontrunner. The two headlined UFC 196 and UFC 202 and sold close to three million PPVs. Diaz has an established fanbase unlike most fighters and the last fight ended in controversial fashion. The rivalry is anything but dead and it's not so much if but when this fight happens. Negotiations are the big hurdle here.

Beyond Diaz, there are talks of an interim lightweight championship bout between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The winner of this bout is likely fighting McGregor next in a champion vs champion fight. Ferguson has the exciting style and winning streak to thrill but Nurmagomedov is an unbeatable wrestler who poses the toughest test for McGregor.

While not as sexy as a trilogy fight with Diaz, facing either would still lead to big bucks. A "superfight" with GSP is also not out of the question though it is highly unlikely.

The Case for Calling it Quits

It can seem absurd that a fighter at the peak of his career calls it a day but other athletes have done it before. McGregor is set to make upwards of $75 million in his boxing match against Mayweather, which is at least five times what he's made in the UFC. But even without the match, McGregor has already made more dinero than all of his peers. With how violent the sport is, and with a newborn son, it makes sense from a health perspective for McGregor to hang the gloves.

Retirements in combat sports are like deaths in comic books. They don't last. If Mystic Mac retires, he may eventually choose to come back if the price is right.

After his bout with Mayweather, the new dad could choose to spend more time with his family and not fight until 2018 especially considering that he won't get paid nearly what he's getting paid against Mayweather no matter who his UFC opponent is.

Even if MMA is McGregor's passion, he calls his own shots and not even Dana can stop him.

Will he stay or will he go?

McGregor's UFC return may be predicated by how his fight with Mayweather goes. As a sizable underdog, online sportsbooks expect McGregor to lose and to lose badly but his fans are another story. If McGregor somehow upsets Mayweather, an immediate rematch is almost a guarantee thus delaying his UFC return past 2017. But if he loses, he could return to the UFC to rebound.

Keep tabs on Conor McGregor and sources close to him as the days go by. With the numerous signup bonuses available right now, this is a nice free bet to make.

Category : UFC

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