Irish fighter Conor McGregor remains one of the biggest names in the world of sport. His relationship with UFC bosses continues to be frosty, which opens the door up for various other projects in 2022.
Here is a look at some of the contests McGregor could be involved in this year across MMA and boxing. It is rumoured that he is intending to make his return from a serious leg injury this summer.
If McGregor does want to return to UFC, he will be hoping to meet lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira. Many believe Notorious would be a difficult contest for the titleholder and a contender to which he would ultimately lose.
The return would be challenging, though. After all, McGregor has not been inside the Octagon since losing to Dustin Poirier for the second time last July. He was beaten in the first round of that fight after the doctor called it off following a TKO.
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As it stands, Oliveira is scheduled to face Australian fighter Justin Gaethje in May. According to the outright UFC betting odds, the champion is priced at 4/7 to win that fight. If he does come through it with his belt, it could be McGregor who is next in line to face him.
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In 2017, McGregor was involved in a boxing match that was dubbed as ‘the biggest fight in combat sports history’ when he took on the unbeaten star Floyd Mayweather. Although the Irishman lost that contest, he earned a lot of respect from many boxing journalists for the challenge he put up.
McGregor has made it no secret that he would love to box again professionally, which could very well be possible given that he has been challenged by internet personality Jake Paul. The American is currently 5-0 in the boxing ring, with his latest success coming against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
This would not only be a lucrative contest for McGregor, but it would also be a great chance for him to earn his first success in the boxing ring. The two fighters are of similar weight, and it is a clash that would generate a lot of interest around the world, owing to the fact that both fighters are renowned for their antics in the lead up to bouts.
Given the injury he picked up last July in his defeat to Poirier, McGregor may want at least one fight before he challenges some of the biggest names in the lightweight division in UFC. Tony Ferguson could be the perfect opponent for him, as the American has lost his last three fights in the Octagon.
Ferguson once held the interim lightweight title in the division, so he is a big enough name for McGregor to target. Victory would help Notorious shoot up the rankings from ninth place, and possibly leapfrog the American who sits in seventh place.
McGregor’s coach and ex-martial artist John Kavanagh has named Ferguson as the man he’d prefer his fighter to face next. The two men have been involved in numerous spats online, so this would be the chance for them to settle their rivalry.
At the age of 38, Ferguson is running out of time in the sport. If a fight with McGregor is not agreed upon in 2022, it may never take place. All that we know for certain is that whoever McGregor faces this year, the fights are sure to attract a huge audience. The Irishman will feel his best years as a combat fighter are still ahead of him.