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Top 5 opponents for Conor McGregor on his return next year

The two-division champion has plenty of options for his return to the Octagon next year.

Top 5 / Top 10 25 Nov 2016, 19:44 IST
Conor McGregor became the first two-division champion in UFC history after his victory at UFC 205

UFC President Dana White, recently announced that Conor McGregor would be taking a well-deserved break from the Octagon, following his historic victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Notorious One has been very active since his UFC debut and has stepped in the Octagon four times in the past year. In his post-fight interview after UFC 205, the Irishman announced that he will be becoming a father next year and will be taking some time off from fighting. 

"I've a few announcements, one announcement is that I'm going to be a daddy early next year. I'm crapping my jocks I'm not going to lie. I don't even know what way to take it, it's going to mess with my head because I don't want to bring a child into anything like this," the two-division champ said in his interview.

"I don't want no little celebrity type sh*t, I hate that. I don't want my family to be like that. That's a little thing that's in my head. I'm going to have this baby, take a little time and see what way I feel after that," he added.

UFC President Dana confirmed Conor McGregor's status about his future in the company during an interview with Los Angeles Times.

"He won't fight before May. His girl (Dee Devlin) gets super stressed out when he fights. He doesn't want her having any of that stress while she's pregnant. He's good. He should take time off. He's been fighting nonstop. Nothing wrong with him taking time off. It's good for him and her and it's good for the baby.”

Conor McGregor’s long absence from the Octagon will be a tough pill to swallow for his fans. The Notorious one has been one of the biggest draws in the history of MMA. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this is true when it comes to the Irishman’s long hiatus.

Not that it's different otherwise, but the Irishman's return to the Octagon after a long break will be one of the most awaited moments for MMA fans worldwide. Here's a look at top 5 opponents Conor can face for his return to the Octagon in 2017:

#5 Tyron Woodley

Woodley has been incredibly dominant since his return to the Octagon against Robbie Lawler at UFC 201

The only reason a fight with the current Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley, ranks at the bottom of the list, is because of the very bleak chances of the fight actually materialising. The Notorious One shared an intense stare down with Welterweight champ at the UFC 205, and it created enough sparks for a future match-up.

No doubt, Conor McGregor vs. Tyron Woodley would be a blockbuster in terms of pay-per-view buys. However, that’s probably the only factor working in favour of it.

But there are many reasons which work against this fight. Primarily, with a rematch between Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley around the corner, it's not certain whether Woodley would still be the Welterweight champion by the time Conor returns. Also, the fight itself would be a massive mismatch. Conor has already fought at welterweight against Nate Diaz.

Although Nate and Woodley are both nearly 170 lbs, the explosive power that Woodley possesses is much greater than Diaz. Even if Conor manages to make the weight, he would have a massive disadvantage in terms of size.

Moreover, UFC would probably receive severe criticism from hardcore fans and the majority of the roster itself, for letting Conor have a go at the Welterweight title.

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