Conor McGregor

Following UFC Ottawa. Donald Cerrone repeated his desire for a showdown with Conor McGregor, and Dana White’s relayed he’s interested in the match-up. But, what are the chances that the fight happens next?

Cerrone campaigned hard for a bout with McGregor for some time, and the “Notorious” one also expressed an interest in the match-up. As a result, there was talk the fight was in motion, but that McGregor balked, since the UFC apparently wanted the fight to be a co-headliner.

Well, Cerrone ultimately ended up facing Al Iaquinta this past weekend, and worked his way to a UD win. So what about a fight with McGregor? During an appearance on the Jime Rome Show, White had this to say about McGregor and the possibility of facing Cerrone (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“[McGregor] and I are getting together very soon, within the next week, and we’re going to figure out what’s next for him,” White said. “I see him fighting this summer.

“The Cerrone fight makes sense. There’s a couple different options out there for him. He was talking about the Cerrone fight at one point. I don’t really know but that fight makes sense.”

So, there’s a few things to look at here, as far as whether Cerrone and McGregor end up throwing hands.

It seems clear that White and Cerrone are down to make this fight, so, it’s likely up to McGregor. There’s still the issue, if it’s indeed an issue, regarding the co-main event status. Would the UFC be willing to move with a PPV card without a title fight as the headliner? At this juncture, McGregor doesn’t appear to be in line for a championship bout anyways. So, unless the star’s planning to stall his career further, you wouldn’t think this would be a deal breaker.

But, McGregor has also sounded pretty interested in facing Khabib Nurmagomedov again. The champ is expected to face interim champ, Dustin Poirier next. So, would a fight with Cerrone put McGregor in a position for a title shot if he wins?

If you missed it, recently Cerrone was moved into the #4 ranking at 155, and McGregor’s #3. But, Tony Ferguson, is sitting in the #2 spot, and “El Cucuy” has a compelling case for a title shot as it stands right now. So, would the UFC agree to give the winner of Cerrone – McGregor a title shot? If indeed, the latter insisted? It’s certainly possible.

Another possibility, however, is that the UFC approaches McGregor about fighting Ferguson in a title shot eliminator. This would also be a massive fight, and few folks could argue that the winner deserves to fight for the belt. There’s also a chance that McGregor approaches the UFC about the trilogy fight with Nate Diaz. He’s talked about the need for that fight to happen at some juncture, and you would think Diaz would sign up, provided the money’s right (although, see below).

At the end of the day, however, what could delay McGregor’s return is contract negotiations, rather than talks over the opponent. Now that the UFC’s PPV model has changed with the move to ESPN+, things could get dicey in terms of ironing out a new deal.

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