Conor McGregor is rumoured to serve as a back-up fighter for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson on April 18th at UFC 249. Dana White said that McGregor "doesn't believe" the fight will go through in the first place.
McGregor appears to have his motivation back after an emphatic performance at UFC 246 against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and has openly stated his desire to fight multiple times, as it's fight season for him again.
Naturally, every fighter wants to face McGregor purely for the payday, with welterweight Jorge Masvidal trying to get the fight as well. However, it turns out McGregor may be facing a more suitable opponent that would earn him a deserved title shot, should he prevail.
According to Ariel Helwani on his MMA Show, the word right now is that Justin "The Highlight Reel" Gaethje is the frontrunner to fight McGregor. As for when it could happen, we can't be sure. UFC is booked up until May.
While UFC 251 in June is a high possibility, Valentina Shevchenko has a title fight against Joanne Calderwood booked on that PPV already. UFC 252 is on International Fight Week and that's expected to be headlined by Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal.
Either way, it's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out at the end. Gaethje is the perfect opponent for him right now and perhaps the most exciting, while Dustin Poirer has been campaigning for a McGregor rematch but that doesn't seem likely right now.
Since Gaethje is on a three-fight win streak, many feel that he should be the next in line for a Lightweight Championship opportunity. If McGregor can beat him, it will more than justify a title shot - regardless of who wins the Nurmagomedov-Ferguson fight in two months' time.