Conor McGregor looks like he’s coming back to the UFC. The Irishman says that he will fight on January 18th in Las Vegas. However, there is nothing signed yet, so don’t get too excited. It’s clear though that McGregor is definitely in fight camp. SBG HQ in Dublin has even blocked non-member access to the facility between 9 am and 4 pm every day.
The most likely opponent for ‘The Notorious’ is Donald Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ is on a two-fight losing streak but is still one of the most popular fighters on the roster. He has name value and the Irishman’s team see him as beatable. As returns go, this would be ideal for McGregor.
At least that’s according to McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy. He believes that it would be an exciting match-up and the perfect battle for his student to get remotivated. In an interview with MMA Junkie, he made his feelings clear.
One thing McGregor’s team don’t want is to let him fight another wrestler anytime soon. There were really only four possibilities for him. Cerrone, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and Frankie Edgar. White shut down the latter, while Poirier is dangerous and has just come off a loss to Khabib as well. Gaethje is not a good comeback fight for anyone. Cerrone makes sense.
“If it is ‘Cowboy,’ it would be an exciting fight, yeah,” Roddy told MMA Junkie. “I said this a couple of months ago: ‘Cowboy’ and Conor is a great fight for the fans. Two guys that are exciting strikers – although ‘Cowboy’ is phenomenal on the ground, as well, but I think if it was a fight between them, it would be a striking battle, and I think it would be one for the fans, so if it is that, it’ll be an exciting one.”
“I know he’s working very hard. There’s no official date set yet, but Conor’s been training very hard, as you can see. He’s in good nick. If you’re looking at any of the pictures, he’s in phenomenal shape, he’s ready to go. I’m sure everybody’s excited to see him back.”
Roddy also believes McGregor underperformed against Khabib. The former lightweight and featherweight champion lost to the Russian in Las Vegas last October. It ended with the two teams getting into a braw. Roddy agrees that McGregor wasn’t at his best.
“Potentially, yeah, it was a tricky fight, and take nothing away from Khabib, he came in with a great gameplan,” he said. “He got off, and he executed. But I just don’t think Conor was anywhere near the best of his ability. He wasn’t as good as he can be, and Conor on a night, at 100 per cent, can beat anybody in the world.”
Finally, Roddy made it clear that he just wants McGregor to fight again. He believes that it’s the best thing for his fellow Dubliner to be active and competing. With all the negative headlines over the past year, there’s nothing like a fight to get people back on your side. He said:
“I just want to see Conor back in. “I think everybody just wants to see Conor back in the UFC, bring back that spectacle that is his fights. Nobody does it like Conor, and for me, I just want to see him back in there. Whatever happens after that, who knows?”