Now that the Notorious one has announced his comeback its time to start speculating who his opponent will be and who we we would like to see across the octagon from him.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone – The winnable fight
If theres one man that deserves a money fight its Cowboy. On November 10th, Cowboy set the new record for the most wins in the UFC with 21 as well as most finishes with 15… this man is a staple of the UFC.
Cowboy would come into this bout holding the height advantage, a good striking skill set and an outstanding submission game. He has also shown he still has what it takes to compete with the best, facing the best in the division and still winning 3 of his last 5.
However the reasons behind stating its a match up that favours Conor are the following. Firstly Cowboy has been known to struggle with mental warfare, even a far from outspoken Nate Diaz managed to make Cowboy lose all mental composure resulting in him getting dominated. Also Cowboy has never managed to win a belt despite the opportunities he has had, perhaps showing he buckles on the big stage. In spite of the loss to Khabib, Conor thrives under pressure. He talks a big game and he consistently backed it up, its safe to say Conor would have a big advantage in the mental game.
The second reason we feel Conor should win this fight is his better striking skill set. Despite not showing it in the Khabib fight, Conor’s striking is second to none winning 7 out of 10 of his UFC fights by finish. Cowboy has struggled in the past to fighters who can pick him apart instead of trading punches, fighters such as RDA, Till, Pettis and Masvidal have all got the better of him through picking him apart from the outside. Conor’s game revolves around counter shots, being fluid and having perfectly timed shots. If this fight was to remain on the feet, it should benefit Conor by a country mile.
The last reason would be the cut down to 155 for Cowboy. He has said himself on multiple occasions how much that cut affects him and surely his age would make the cut even worse. This makes it even harder to argue that a depleted Cowboy could perform against Conor.
Justin Gaethje – The Watchable Fight
This fight would very hard to predict but damn would it be amazing to watch. Justin would come into this fight with a 23-2-0 record. He’s won 18 of this 21 wins by KO/TKO and has received 3 performance of the night and 4 fight of the night awards in his 6 fights. He’s not called “The Highlight” for nothing.
The crazy thing about Justin Gaethje is he does have an extensive wrestling background but chooses not to use, instead opting to go to war in every fight. Likewise Conor rarely shoots for a takedown so we’d imagine this fight would be an all out war on the feet. This fight is a question of would Gaethje’s determination to trade wear down Conor pay off or would Conor be able to pick the perfect shot and end this fight, either way it’s a win – win for the fans
Another reason why this would be the most entertaining fight would be the build up. Gaethje has already came out trash talking, saying he’d love to get revenge on Conor for hitting an old man in a bar incident whilst also brandishing him a “crackhead”. There’s no doubt that Conor (the king of trash talk) would go toe to toe with Gaethje in the build up and who doesn’t like to see Conor on the mic ?
The last reason we’d love to see this fight is it would be a legitimate lightweight title shot eliminator. Due to his star-power, Conor is always in the mix for a title shot and Justin Gaethje is coming off a 3 fight winning streak all ending in KO’s/TKO. This fight would eliminate a contender and get us one step closer to see who would be fighting for the title after Khabib vs Tony.
Dustin “The Diamond” Porier – The Credible Fight
Dustin has already stated running the fight back with Conor makes a lot of sense and we have to agree. There’s no arguing that Dustin is an Animal in that Octogon, with a record of 25-6-0 and coming off a very respectable loss to one of the greatest to ever grace the octagon in Khabib. Prior to his loss he was on a 5 fight win streak, fighting the best of the best each time including Max Holloway. I don’t think anyone would argue that Dustin would be an easy fight for Conor, meaning a win against Dustin Porier would mean Conor could have a legitimate claim at a title shot.
Despite the first fight ended in Conor beating Dustin within 90 seconds, its clear to see how much Dustin has evolved since then. His boxing has came on leaps and bounds, to the point where his boxing could be considered the best in the division and what better way to test his skills against a man who has had a professional boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather. Im sure Dustin would be eager to avenge his loss and what better way for Conor to get a title shot, this fight makes perfect sense.