Five possible opponents for Conor McGregor, including Nate Diaz trilogy

McGregor is still recovering from a broken leg but revealed he wants to return before the end of the year.

Lightweight duo Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje were the men on the marquee at UFC 274, but only one fighter was making headlines on social media, and that was Conor McGregor.

The 'Notorious' McGregor seemed to be offering his opinion on every lightweight competing on the show and even suggested he will have fights against champion Oliveira and Michael Chandler in the future.

While he still remains on the injury list for now, McGregor may take to the octagon sooner rather than later - but who should he face when he returns to the cage?

Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 3

Conor McGregor's last trip to the octagon concluded a three-fight series with Dustin Poirier, but no trilogy would get MMA fans as excited as McGregor vs Diaz 2.

First facing each other at UFC 196, McGregor and Diaz have been verbally going back and forth since that event in 2016.

While Diaz took the first fight - submitting Conor McGregor by rear-naked choke - the Irishman tied the series at UFC 202, winning a gruelling five-round decision over the Stockton native.

So, surely we need a conclusion to this epic trilogy? Both have competed at welterweight before, and both are coming off back-to-back losses, so this third installment of McGregor against Diaz makes the most sense.

However, we don't know the timeline for this fight after Nate Diaz's tweeted "July 30th 170lbs.

"Kamzits and Conor are on the injured p**sy list so I don't know why they're talkin s**t when they broken."

Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler stole the show at the aforementioned UFC 274.

His front kick knockout of Tony Ferguson is an early contender for Knockout of the Year, and it was even quoted as the "most vicious knockout I've seen" by UFC president Dana White.

His performance also impressed Conor McGregor. The Irishman took to Twitter immediately to announce his desire for a matchup with Chandler in the future, "I'm definitely game to fight this guy at some point in my career.

"I see it happening after tonight. Congrats on a solid win Michael and another barnstormer", he added.

Chandler himself also spoke after UFC 274 about his willingness to take on the 'Notorious one' in the future.

Michael Chandler

"That fight with Conor, obviously I'm serious about it.

"You're going to be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't think I'm one of the most exciting guys on the planet now. I think I've proven that numerous times", Chandler added.

"Conor needs a big fight to put butts in seats, to sell pay-per-views. And a fight at 170 would be a lot better than 155."

It's only a matter of time before these two fighters clash, whether it's a welterweight or lightweight, it is a fight that fans can expect a classic.

Conor McGregor vs Tony Ferguson

Michael Chandler's opponent last Saturday was Tony Ferguson. And much like Khabib against Ferguson, McGregor versus Ferguson was the biggest fight to make in the lightweight division a few years ago.

However, both fighters have fallen into a difficult patch in their careers. Ferguson's devastating knockout loss this weekend was 'El Cucuy's' fourth-straight defeat in the lightweight division.

As for McGregor, he has lost three out of his last four fights in the UFC, but he wasn't shy about poking fun at Ferguson on social media after this weekend's knockout loss.

"Tony had some great nuggets in the media build up. Then he got punt kicked to the chin and got turned into a nugget himself. That's crazy.", McGregor posted on his Twitter account.

These two were once atop the lightweight division, and a fight between these two feels essential based on their history, but it may be a while before we see McGregor and Ferguson take the octagon together.

Conor McGregor vs Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveria

Now, if we base the next title contender on winning streaks or the rankings then McGregor doesn't deserve the next shot at the interim lightweight title.

However, due to his stardom, McGregor is a viable opponent for anybody - including the former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

The Brazilian lost the title to the scales before UFC 274 and he is pencilled in for the next title bout. The next logical opponent for 'Da Bronx' is Islam Makachev, but Oliveira made it clear that a bout with McGregor would be of interest to him.

"Just for the record, I like to break records and I want to break another one… Fighting twice in the same night. I can knock out McGregor and make Diaz tap," Oliveira stated on Twitter.

The Irishman was quick to voice his rebuttal on Twitter, "Shut up you bum and get back to that favela and pay your piece."

While the Brazilian will likely never get his wish of fighting both men in a night, the fight with McGregor may become a possibility should Oliveira lose his interim title bout.

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier

Dustin Poirier

A fourth fight with Dustin Poirier, though unlikely, remains a possibility after the controversy surrounding how the trilogy ended.

Both McGregor and Poirier were 1-1 entering their third matchup in July 2021. And while both men had their moments in the third fight, McGregor threw a kick that would prematurely end the fight due to the Irishman suffering a broken leg.

The fight between Poirier and McGregor feels like it has unfinished business, and after Poirier's unsuccessful attempt at securing lightweight gold last time out, they may clash in a fourth encounter soon.

READ MORE: Who's next for Charles Oliveira after UFC 274? Is Conor McGregor in the frame?

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