Defeat does different things to different fighters. After her first MMA loss ever to Cris Cyborg, former face of women’s MMA Gina Carano never stepped in the cage again. And when Ronda Rousey lost to Holly Holm, Ronda decided to take a year-long hiatus from the sport. But what about Conor McGregor, who just tasted defeat for the first time in the UFC after getting choked out?
“I was at his house last night and talking to him, ‘What do you think your future is?'” UFC president Dana White said on ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell Show. “He wants to fight again as soon as possible. He wants to jump back in there and he wants to fight again. We’re working on who the next opponent is going to be.”
So, who will be McGregor’s next opponent? Conor has already said several times that he plans to return to the featherweight division and defend his belt. But will it be a rematch against former champ Jose Aldo, or will he face off against number one contender Frankie Edgar?
“It’s kind of hard not to give Aldo another go,” McGregor said at the UFC 196 post-event press conference. “He’s 10 years undefeated. But he pulls out a lot and he doesn’t show up a lot. Frankie [Edgar] at least gets in there and competes. So, I dunno. I’ll keep my ear to the ground and see who the fans want to see most. What are the fans most interested in.”
If McGregor’s coach had his way, Conor would face Aldo again rather than Edgar.
“Frankie’s lost to Aldo and Aldo just had such an amazing run,” John Kavanagh reasoned on Monday’s MMA Hour. “He just got caught with that very, very hard shot and went down fast. That’s just how that fight went. But just for me, because I think I learned so much just watching it, to have a good back-and-forth fight, I just think it would be for me, I’d get a year’s worth of material to coach off for the next 20 years off.
It doesn’t hurt that McGregor would have a solid confidence bump returning to the cage against a fighter he’s already beaten. But if he wants to move up in weight again, it might be best for him to clean out the division properly, and Edgar is the only guy left he hasn’t faced. So, it could go either way. Most likely, whoever he faces will fight him on the big UFC 200 card scheduled for July 9 in Vegas. So, a decision should be coming soon, and we’ll let you know when it’s made.