It's been a while since Conor McGregor won a fight in the UFC since January 2020. The Irishman, who scripted history by becoming the first double champion, hasn't had much luck in the past four years. Of the four fights that he has fought since his return in 2018, he has won only one.
Kamaru Usman, meanwhile, sits atop the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. With a UFC record of 15-0, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' has already invited comparisons to the legends of MMA.
Needless to say, any fight featuring Conor McGregor is always a grand event for the UFC. With the Irishman calling out 'The Nigerian Nightmare' recently during an interview with The MacLife, it's a no-brainer that a fight with the current welterweight champion could be on the cards.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why a Conor McGregor vs. Kamaru Usman fight could make sense.
#5. Money fight
It is a dream of every fighter to be a part of a money fight and Kamaru Usman isn't any different.
Both him and his manager Ali Abdelaziz have called out pugilist Canelo Alvarez for a super fight on numerous occasions. Should the fight between the two best pound-for-pound fighters materialize, it could be the biggest payday of the Nigerian's career.
Speaking during the UFC 268 pre-fight press conference, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' said:
"When have we seen a pound-for-pound mixed martial artist go up against a pound-for-pound boxer, both in their prime? Not when they‘re old and retired and you’re trying to pull them back – [when they’re] both in their prime.”
Watch Kamaru Usman talk about a boxing match with Canelo Alvarez here:
However, given Alvarez's reluctance to the idea, Conor McGregor could be the next big thing in terms of a major payday for Usman.
'The Notorious' is undoubtedly the pay-per-view king of the UFC and the stats are a testimony to that. The top five pay-per-view events organized by the UFC have all been headlines by the Irishman.
UFC 229 featuring Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov garnered a whooping 2.4m in pay-per-view buys. To this day, it remains the biggest fight in MMA history.
#4. New challenge for Kamaru Usman
With a 15-fight winning streak in the UFC, Kamaru Usman enjoys an unblemished record in the promotion. Such has been his domination that he has often been compared to legends like Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
Needless to say, the Nigerian has indeed been a nightmare for his opponents. Since defeating former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' has faced the best fighters in the 170 lbs division not once but twice, and yet, he remains unbeaten.
As mentioned by Kamaru Usman time and again, there needs to be new challenges on the horizon to keep a fighter hungry, and facing one of the biggest superstars in UFC history, Conor McGregor could be that challenge.
The Irishman has enjoyed poster boy status in Dana White's promotion for quite a while. But having fallen into a rough patch in his career, he will be looking to make the most of his comeback fight.
#3. Striking prowess of both fighters
The exploits of Conor McGregor and Kamaru Usman inside the octagon need not be explained to fans. Both enjoy a stellar record from their stand position and rely on explosiveness to inflict damage.
According to official stats, 'The Notorious' has eight knockout wins in his UFC career. Barring the two losses against Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor has never been knocked out in the UFC.
Kamaru Usman, too, is a relentless fighter in his own right. Although primarily a wrestler, the Nigerian has evolved into a lethal striker under Trevor Wittman. Despite having just four knockout wins in his UFC career, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' is known for taming the entire division with his fists.
His win against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 is a reminder of the threat he poses in the striking department. 'Gamebred', who had no knockout losses in his career until then, was stung by a strong right hand from Kamaru Usman. The punch proved to be too much for him and he was knocked out cold.
#2. War of words between both fighters
Conor McGregor and Kamaru Usman have been at loggerheads with each other for quite some time now.
Following the Nigerian's knockout win over Jorge Masvidal in 2021, 'The Notorious' engaged in a war of words with him on Twitter. He alleged that the welterweight champion was copying his moves in the octagon. This got 'The Nigerian Nightmare' riled up.
The back-and-forth continued, with Kamaru Usman accusing Conor McGregor of declining an offer to fight him.
Following 'The Notorious' calling him out, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' mocked Conor McGregor, calling him a 'clout chaser'. While speaking to Sky Sports, Kamaru Usman said:
"He just wants to keep his name relevant out there, because obviously his fighting isn't doing the talking anymore. He wants to keep his name out there, that's why his fingers are doing the talking nowadays."
Watch Kamaru Usman talk about Conor McGregor here:
Although no formal announcement has yet been made, the rivalry between the two fighters might be just enough to convince Dana White to give the green light to it.
#1. Third title on the line for Conor McGregor
In 2016, Conor McGregor scripted history when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the first champ-champ of the promotion. This was nine months after he stunned the audience by knocking out then-featherweight champion Jose Aldo in thirteen seconds of the very first round.
Since then, many fighters have had the honor of becoming a double champion in the promotion. But no fighter has ever won a third title to date, and that could be good enough to convince the UFC to give the fight a green light.
Although every fight featuring Conor McGregor is a crowdpuller, the very likelihood of the biggest star in MMA scripting history makes the fight a must-watch for fans.
While Kamaru Usman doesn't seem to be breaking a sweat about the contest, 'The Notorious' has already got fans hyped up. Speaking to The MacLife recently, the Irishman said:
"The world is to be took again, the triple crown! No one's ever obtained three knockouts in three weight divisions moving up like I have already. But no one's ever obtained three UFC world titles across three divisions like I will do also if we make this fight."
Incidentally, this isn't the first time Conor McGregor has discussed the prospect of becoming a triple champ. In fact, it's been on his mind since the beginning of his UFC career.
With a record of 2-1, 'The Notorious' has had an eventful ride in the 170 lbs division. But will he be able to script history yet again? Only time will tell.