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Usman Favored To Be McGregor’s Next Opponent

Conor McGregor embraces crowd ahead of a fight

The “Notorious” Conor McGregor made his long-awaited return to the Octagon in January as he ran through Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds. But when will McGregor fight next? And who will his opponent be?

Online sportsbook BetOnline has listed welterweight champion Kamaru Usman as the betting favorite at +250 to be McGregor’s next foe. Usman is followed by BMF champion Jorge Masvidal at +300, Anderson Silva at +400, Tony Ferguson at +600 and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at +600 to round out the top five fighters on the oddsboard.

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Who Will Be Conor McGregor’s next opponent in 2020?
FighterOdds
Kamaru Usman+250
Jorge Masvidal+300
Anderson Silva+400
Tony Ferguson+600
Khabib Nurmagomedov+600
Nate Diaz+700
Justin Gaethje+700
Floyd Mayweather Jr.+2000

Odds as of June 3 at BetOnline

Why Is Usman The Favorite to Fight Conor?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, matchmaking has been a little different for the UFC with many of the non-Americans unable to travel to the States, including Conor McGregor. While he remains on the sideline, other fighters are leaving him in the dust as potential dance partners find other opponents.

Right now, the No. 1 contender in the welterweight division to fight Kamaru Usman is Jorge Masvidal. However, “Gamebred” has his sights set on a rematch with Nate Diaz instead of a title fight. Meanwhile, the lightweight division is pretty much all booked up, leaving McGregor without an opponent down there as well.

Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, took to social media to offer the title fight to McGregor because his client is also without a challenger. That said, McGregor didn’t respond to the offer, which tells me that the chances for Conor McGregor vs Kamaru Usman are, at this point, quite low. If this fight takes place, McGregor would be a sizable underdog, which is rare if you look at his betting odds history.

Which Fighter Is A Better Option Than Usman?

I think Anderson Silva, the third man on the oddsboard, provides the best value in terms of wagering on who Conor McGregor will fight next.

Ahead of UFC 229, which McGregor headlined against Nurmagomedov, the former “champ champ” asserted that a fight with Silva would be great. Then, more recently, Notorious went on a Twitter rant ranking his pound-for-pound fighters of all time, slotting Silva in the No. 1 spot but also saying by the end of his own career that he would be there.

To be the best, you need to beat the best and if you read between the lines, it appears that McGregor was trying to poke “The Spider.” Silva then said he’d be willing to have a catchweight bout with McGregor, which the Ireland native quickly accepted.

This makes a lot of sense. As mentioned earlier, many of McGregor’s potential opponents are already linked to other fights and he’s on the sideline looking on. Silva vs McGregor would be a PPV that would sell just as much as McGregor vs Cerrone did at the start of 2020. This fight could happen on Fight Island in July.

What About Floyd Mayweather?

Good question. The 50-0 multi-division boxer, arguably the greatest of all time, is keeping his cards close to the chest. Mayweather brought his pro boxing record to 50-0 with his 10th-round stoppage of McGregor in 2017 and hasn’t been in action since. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been in the spotlight.

He was seen with UFC president Dana White at a Celtics/Clippers game at which White has said they came to a “handshake deal.” White has doubled down on this statement, saying Floyd will be competing in 2020 in some capacity. My guess is he fights Manny Pacquiao again to kick off Zuffa Boxing but the door is definitely open for May/Mac.

Money is last on the oddsboard at this point but this fight is gaining traction again on social media.

Ultimately, though, I think McGregor sticks to MMA this year.