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Could Conor McGregor Fight Three Times in 2020? That’s Reportedly The Plan

Conor McGregor [1] has said that he’s eager to fight again, and fight often, and to that end, the controversial star’s reportedly planning to compete three times next year.

Conor McGregor
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

McGregor’s much discussed return

Ever since McGregor was submitted by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, talk and debate about who and when the former champ will fight has made the rounds. McGregor drove hard for an immediate rematch with Khabib, but due to Tony Ferguson’s awe-inspiring run, he’s booked to fight the champion April 18th. [2] That bout, however, wasn’t finalized until after the UFC announced that McGregor will face Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, January 18th.

And what could happen after UFC 246? If McGregor wins and is healthy? Following the news of the fight’s signing, Ariel Helwani reported the following for ESPN [3] (quotes via MMA Fighting [4]).

”Okay, so he has laid out this plan that he wants to fight three times next year,” Helwani said. “He hasn’t done that in over three years as well, so it’s a pretty lofty goal but he believes that when he is active, then he’s not getting distracted, he’s not getting in trouble, he’s very focused. And people are telling me right now that they haven’t seen him this focused in a very long time. We hear this a lot in the fight game, but he’s going to sleep early, he’s waking up early. He wants to prove to everyone that thinks he’s shot that they are wrong.”

“He wants to fight January 18th – in fact, he wanted to fight in December but the UFC didn’t give him that opportunity,” Helwani said. “So he wanted to fight at the beginning of the year, then he wants to return towards spring/summer, maybe fight Jorge Masvidal or Nathan Diaz – perhaps that’s why this fight is happening at 170, to prove that he can hang with the welterweights. Then he wants to fight at the end of the year against Khabib Nurmagomedov, if he is still the champion, in Moscow. He really wants to right that wrong… The last fight he got submitted, he wants to right that wrong so he’s hoping that he can win those two fights, get the title fight, and then shut everyone up.”

But will it happen?

The news that McGregor is apparently going to bed early, training hard etc, supports the narrative that he is indeed, hungry to silence his doubters. Due to some of the incidents [5] that have involved McGregor in recent years, some have questioned the fighter’s mindset and commitment to fighting.

Now, if McGregor stays healthy, then you know the UFC would love to have him fight three times next year. But, you have to wonder if contractual negotiations and timing issues could get in the way of that agenda.

It’s also interesting to hear that McGregor is reportedly targeting the end of 2020 for a rematch with Khabib. Some have argued that if he beats Cerrone, and if Nurmagomedov gets by Ferguson, the UFC will try booking the rematch. But, Khabib has repeatedly said that McGregor needs to record several victories before he earns another shot at the belt.