Back to the Futures: Who’s next for Conor McGregor?

Back to the Futures: Who’s next for Conor McGregor? article feature image

The circus of Mayweather v McGregor is now in the rear-view mirror and we can now turn our attention to what’s coming next for Conor McGregor in the UFC octagon.

McGregor has managed his career phenomenally well, consistently building his reputation and his standing within the sport with every bout. Even in defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 he managed to come out of it with the MMA scribes talking about how admirably he’d taken his first UFC loss.

It was a similar story when he was TKO’d by Floyd Mayweather in the 10th round of their boxing contest in Las Vegas a couple of weeks back. He was outmatched against an all-time-great boxer, yet still managed to give a decent account of himself, both in and out of the ring.

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Now McGregor’s next step is the topic of much speculation and discussion, and British bookmakers Skybet have released a set of odds for a slew of potential matchups, should McGregor make his octagon return before the end of the year.

Skybet have listed odds for a McGregor trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, as well as a potential rematch with old adversary Jose Aldo, who he knocked out in 13 seconds at UFC 194.

The British bookie also offered odds for potential clashes with unbeaten lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov and current UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley.

We also contacted Skybet for additional odds for potential bouts with Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee (who face off for the interim lightweight title at UFC 216) and also for current UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

The odds make for interesting reading indeed.

McGregor UFC futures published via the Skybet website

Conor McGregor (1/2) Jose Aldo (6/4)
Conor McGregor (8/11) Khabib Nurmagomedov (EVENS)
Conor McGregor (1/2) Nate Diaz (6/4)
Conor McGregor (5/4) Tyron Woodley (4/7)

Additional McGregor UFC futures requested by Sports Action

Conor McGregor (8/13) Tony Ferguson (6/5)
Conor McGregor (1/4) Kevin Lee (11/4)
Conor McGregor (1/2) Max Holloway (6/4)

The odds above suggest Skybet believe that McGregor will have his toughest tests against current 170-pound king Woodley (where they have the American as the odds-on betting favorite), followed by Ferguson and Nurmagomedov.

But their early-price odds also suggest they believe ‘The Notorious’ would prevail in rematches against Aldo, Diaz or Holloway. Rising contender Lee is the most recent addition to the lightweight division’s contenders list, and he’s considered the biggest outsider of the bunch, priced at 11/4 to defeat the Dubliner in a potential 2017 matchup.

Back to boxing?

We also asked Skybet if they’d price up a potential boxing match between McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi, following the pair’s bust-up in the build-up to McGregor’s bout with Floyd Mayweather.

Skybet were happy to oblige, making ‘The Magic Man’ the odds-on favorite to take the win if the UFC star and the retired boxer-turned-Showtime analyst met in the ring under the Queensberry Rules before the end of next year.

There has been a suggestion doing the rounds that the Irishman might consider a ring return against Malignaggi, with a bout in New York on St.Patrick’s Day the likely date.

Given the amount of betting action on McGregor heading into the Mayweather fight, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see McGregor step into the ring as the betting favorite if the pair did indeed meet in the squared circle at some point in the next year or so.

Conor McGregor vs Paulie Malignaggi futures market

Conor McGregor (6/4) Draw (33/1) Paulie Malignaggi (8/15)

Skybet odds quoted for a boxing match contested before the end of 2018.

Which of the bouts above would you most like to see next, and which opponent do you think would provide McGregor with his toughest test? Tweet me @simonhead and let me know.

[Photo Credit: © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports]

Follow Simon Head on Twitter @simonhead.

Be part of the Action

Download the Sports Action app at the App Store or Google Play now.