UFC star Conor McGregor managed to win the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205 recently, which made history. Conor is now the only man to win two championships in two different divisions and hold both at the same time. To be fair, he has yet to defend the UFC Featherweight Championship he won a year ago.
The lack of defenses has caused UFC to find an interim champion for the division in Jose Aldo, the man Conor beat for the title, who did not get a rematch. The UFC now has Conor taking up two different divisions and fans are not happy to see him do it. History being made is cool to see, as it is not every day that a man does what Conor was able to do. However, the lack of title defenses has made people angry and now the UFC is even considering a Welterweight Title fight for McGregor.
There are several top fighters in the world of MMA who could take down Conor McGregor and remove him from the high horse he is on. He is one hell of a fighter with talent, few can argue. However, he is not unbeatable as Nate Diaz proved already this year. There are some who could possibly fight him a few times and take him off the high pedestal he is on.
15 Floyd Mayweather
You're probably already thinking, Conor McGregor is an MMA fighter and Floyd Mayweather is a boxer. Obviously, Floyd would get killed in a sanctioned MMA fight. What we do know is that everyone has something to say about both men. That said, watching both of them beat the crap out of each other would be fun to see and would make everyone a ton of money. After those words from Floyd, McGregor may be open to a fight. Both men are all about the business side of things. If they can make some extra green, they're gonna do it.
14 Daniel Straus
This current Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion has all the tools one needs to face Conor McGregor on a major stage. Daniel Mason-Straus is an accomplished high school wrestler who went into the world of MMA. However, this wrestling skill allows him to have some success against Conor, who is known for having issues with guys who can go to the ground against him.
He is currently 25-6 in MMA. While many may not know who Daniel is, they should probably look into him more. Bellator MMA has some of the best fighters out there, and while they come off as number two in comparison to UFC, that does not make their fighters worse than those in the UFC.
13 Cody Garbrandt
While he is not technically a major name in the world of UFC yet, the man does have an undefeated MMA record right now. Cody Garbrant is currently 10-0 in his professional MMA career, which puts him in a very small class of undefeated people in the UFC. Nine out of his ten fights were finished by TKO or KO victory. He does not like for the fight to end up in the judges' hands. No fighter truly does going in. The great striking ability makes him an ideal candidate to stand with Conor McGregor.
Garbrant is currently in the UFC bantamweight class and will be getting a title fight soon. What better way to lure Conor McGregor than to put your title on the line?
12 Leonardo Santos
UFC is known for bringing in a lot of Brazilian fighters and Leonardo Santos is no different from any other. He is as good as you would expect and then some. He currently has 16 wins with just 3 losses to his MMA credit. Meanwhile he is 5-0-1 in the UFC.
Santos would be the perfect opponent for McGregor. He is willing to stand, but like any good Brazilian, he knows BJJ well. This would be a tough fight for Conor, as he would want to stand and Santos would want to go to the ground. Conor does not have the skill to last on the ground, so this fight might be one to watch.
11 Anthony Pettis
Anthony Pettis has had an interesting last few years. The man known as Showtime could give you a great fight when the lights are on, but sometimes he just does not get the win even if he may deserve it, due to a lot of his fights going to decision.
He is one of the most well rounded Lightweights in the world and a guy who could stand with Conor McGregor or go to the ground. The good thing for Conor is that Pettis is a well known name in the sport of MMA and would be an ideal opponent to have on a PPV.
10 Max Holloway
Both Pettis and Max Holloway will be fighting in December, which could determine the next opponent for Conor McGregor. To be fair to Pettis, he might be good but Max may have him beat. He is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak. While he has yet to taste gold in the UFC, he is more than worthy of such gold. But Conor has already beaten Max, so it's a little tricky.
Either way, something is going to happen with Max. He is a capable striker who could easily stand with Conor, take some hits and come back harder with his kickboxing ability. The kicker, he's only 24 years old and has one of the hottest win streaks in the UFC. That is not easy.
9 Carlos Condit
While Carlos Condit is a welterweight, Conor has proven he is willing to jump up a weight class for the right fight. With 30 wins in his career, you clearly have a fighter worthy of a top fight. While Carlos has not been giving us the best of his career lately...he could easily give us something special with Conor.
He is a former champion and could only be good for McGregor as he tries to pursue greatness in other weight classes. Condit could easily take Conor down too, which makes him worthy of a fight with him.
8 Ronda Rousey
The two biggest draws the last few years for the UFC have been Conor and Ronda Rousey. Now, imagine a fight with these two people. I get it, we're pitting a man and a woman in cage fight with each other and it seems like grounds for controversy. However, popular authority figure in the world of pro-wrestling Eric Bischoff claimed: "controversy equals cash."
Man vs. woman, you say? Rousey would jump up about ten pounds and be the exact weight as Conor. They would clearly be on an even scale. Some would claim that a man would totally win in a fight over a woman, and others claim an even playing field makes it to where gender is no longer a problem. Regardless of how you feel, you know you want to see this fight, right?
Could you imagine the money UFC would make on it? Surely it will draw some ire from the world of MMA and it unlikely that the company would get tons of love for it.
7 Rafael dos Anjos
Rafael dos Anjos has been around UFC for quite some time now, and has proven his worth in the Lightweight Division that Conor McGregor is currently the champion of. Clearly he deserves a shot to eventually fight Conor, mainly due to the greatness of both men. He is one of the few multi-time champions still left in the UFC, as he has won the UFC Lightweight strap.
While he has not shown greatness lately, it is likely that he could come out hard in a fight with Conor. Rafael is of course known for his BJJ, but he can strike with the best of them. He has a healthy amount of TKO and KO victories to add to his submission wins. Truly he is a complete fighter who would give Conor McGregor a run for his money if you let him have the fight.
6 Michael Chandler
You may not know much about Michael Chandler, but you probably should. He is currently killing it in Bellator MMA right now. He is currently the company's Lightweight Champion. He has held the gold on two occasions and is also an NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler, which makes him very difficult to deal with when you're on the ground.
Michael can knock you out and does have a good amount of TKOs on his resume, but can also make you tap out just as easily. If he managed to get a shot to jump to the UFC, he very well could be a huge problem for Conor McGregor.
5 Tony Ferguson
Currently riding a nine-fight winning streak in the lightweight division, the longest in the UFC right now, Tony Ferguson is by no means a man you want to mess with. He has yet to taste gold in his UFC career but sitting at 22-3 as of now, he is more than worthy of being given a fight at the top. He does not wow you with major outside appeal like Conor McGregor, he is simply a fighter who could wrestle you or knock you out. Don't think he's one sided, he can make you tap as well.
Tony is one of the best the lightweight division has to offer, and his fights are always entertaining to see. He has been the fight of the night on three occasions with the UFC, which says a lot. It means you know he'll be a good fight almost any time, and that makes a Conor McGregor fight mean so much. Most guys who fight him aren't very tall and cannot stand with him.
4 Jose Aldo
Before fighting Conor McGregor last December, Jose Aldo WAS the UFC Featherweight division. He had not lost a fight since 2007, which made the loss so shocking. He also defended the UFC Featherweight title well. He had nine successful defenses of the championship, making him one of the best champions in UFC history.
Seemingly, one punch took Aldo down against Conor and that made Aldo furious. Clearly a rematch needed to happen to see if Conor could get lucky a second time. However, Conor fought Nate Diaz a couple times this year and eventually Eddie Alvarez. This led to UFC having to crown an interim Featherweight Champion, which went to Aldo after he beat Frankie Edgar at UFC 200. They need to unify the titles, otherwise both men are walking around as paper champions.
3 Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz currently holds the UFC Bantamweight Championship, and he was the first to ever hold it. He sadly got hurt and was unable to defend it, which made UFC find an interim who then became THE champion due to Cruz remaining hurt. He would make a comeback this year and win back the UFC Bantamweight Title and become the comeback fighter of the year due to it.
He has fought in the Featherweight world a bit in his career, so it would not be hard to jump up to that class and fight Conor McGregor. Of course, if Conor wants to taste a third title, he'll have to lose some weight and hit the Bantamweight world to fight Cruz.
Cruz has one loss and 22 wins currently. He's 5-0 in his UFC career and that alone makes him a huge threat at any size he plans to work in. He's on a thirteen fight win streak and that makes him feel pretty invincible.
2 Tyron Woodley
The UFC Welterweight Champion seems to be eyeing a Conor McGregor fight simply because he wants the big payday that comes with it. However, he would have to put his gold on the line for Conor to even consider the jump. Woodley would be a tough fight for Conor.
Conor has a lot of accurate hits, which makes him a legit top tier striker in MMA. However, Woodley knocks people out on a consistent basis. He is also good on the ground, as he has a very good wrestling background. He beat Robbie Lawler among others, which means he knows how to get hit and keep coming.
If there is a match-up Conor would want to avoid, it is a Welterweight fight with Tyron Woodley. There's a good shot he could make Conor less than a man as he knocks him out cold.
1 Khabib Nurmagomedov
Currently undefeated in the world of MMA with 24 straight wins, with 8 happening in the UFC, there may be no bigger threat to Conor McGregor than Khabib Nurmagomedov. He currently holds the UFC record for most takedowns in a single fight with 21...on 27 attempts. The man is a grappling nightmare for anyone in his sights. He has a background and titles in Sambo, BJJ, and Pankration. He has a Master of Sports rank in Sambo, Pankration, and Hand-to-Hand combat. Oh and a black belt in Judo.
Then you find out he has numerous TKO victories with the ability to knock you out on the ground or standing. When he has you, he doesn't let go. Conor McGregor would have to fight Khabib eventually since he is literally the top Lightweight in the division and everyone who knows of the man believes he deserves a fight against Conor. In fact, Khabib called Conor out on the prelims at UFC 205 when he said he wants a fight with the UFC golden boy.
This man may be the biggest threat to any title he chooses to go after. Conor McGregor may get annihilated if he steps into the octagon with Khabib Nurmagomedov.