Forget Mayweather, Here's 10 Other “Opponents” That Conor McGregor Should Face

Fightland Blog

By Sarah Kurchak

Photo by Billie Weiss/Zuffa LLC

You might not be aware of this—because the two men involved are notoriously publicity shy and the story’s been wildly underreported—but undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA star Conor McGregor might face each other in a boxing match. According to sources (which are inarguably real and without bias and/or investment in the story) the fight (which is definitely not a publicity stunt, no matter what Nate Diaz says) is all set to go for September in Las Vegas. Details (which are totally forthcoming) are expected to be announced shortly.

We’re obviously very excited and not at all dubious about this impending clash between two combat sports and the giants who represent them, in the grand tradition of Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki and the somewhat less grand and real tradition of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs The Big Show. But just in case, for some unfathomable reason, this big fight falls through, we’ve come up with some other potential opponents for McGregor outside of the current UFC roster.

In keeping with the spirit that McGregor and Mayweather are claiming to bring to this serious fight prospect:

Georges St-Pierre
What better way to lure the former welterweight champ back to MMA—and get him the kind of big pay day he deserves—than to pit him, one of the most dominant and beloved stars of recent history, against the man most obviously (if far more flashily) gunning for his throne in terms of glory and admiration?

Kron or Ralek Gracie
If this fight against Mayweather is, as its most vocal proponents insist, more about the fascinating story leading up to it than the fight itself, then either of these matches would offer a similarly compelling plot line: a young descendant of the UFC’s first family takes on the man who believes that he has single-handedly elevated and changed the promotion forever.

Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin
In McGregor insists on a boxing match, then GGG, who was recently ranked the second best middleweight and third best pound for pound boxer in the world by The Ring magazine, would provide an interesting foil. McGregor’s precision and timing—and his belief in his precision and timing—are so famous that they’ve spawned an entire cottage industry of related merchandise. So it would be interesting to see how he would fare against someone who exhibits precision and timing on top of power and speed.

George Groves
Super middleweight world title contending boxer “Saint” Georges Groves might not have the profile of a Mayweather, or even a GGG or GSP, but he has been working the media by talking about his admiration of McGregor’s boxing skills and saying that he’d love to have an MMA fight with The Notorious when his boxing days are over. Even if McGregor doesn’t respect that from a sporting perspective, he’s got to respect the man’s scrappy publicity game.

Kimbo Slice
Maybe this isn’t an entirely serious suggestion. But if McGregor is really aiming for a stunt fight, then why not recruit the stuntiest of stunt fighters who has a chance of getting medical clearance to fight him?

In keeping with the spirit that we suspect McGregor and Mayweather are actually bringing to this “fight”:

Royce Gracie and/or Ken Shamrock
If these two are going to continue to insist on handling their legacies the way that Carl Tanzler treated his terminal patients, then someone might as well channel those energies into some sort of Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan torch-passing scenario with McGregor.

Ashton Kutcher
Brazilian jiu jitsu master Rigan Machado recently told TMZ Sports that the actor and longtime BJJ enthusiast has a better ground game than McGregor. And it’s not like it would be the worst travesty that Kutcher has ever been involved in.

Gene LeBell
Granted, Judo Gene is now 83, which makes this match even more of a hypothetical than any of the other matches listed here. But the martial arts legend and spiritual grandfather to many a current pro wrestler and MMA fighter has a proven track record with cross-discipline matches thanks to his 1963 match against boxer Milo Savage

Jay Z
Speaking of stunts executed by masters of publicity looking to make more money for themselves, HOVA stepping into the ring against Notorious would certainly do wonders for the former’s Roc Nation Sports boxing promotion, which held its first event last year. As for the actual action, we know what kind of shit can go down when there’s a billion dollars in an elevator. It would be interesting to see what can go down when there’s half a billion dollars and enough liquid assets to finance anacondas on one’s feet in a ring.

A Hologram of a Pre-UFC 196 Conor McGregor
In literary terms, the McGregor-related drama we’re currently watching unfold in the public eye is very much a Man vs Himself conflict. So why not turn this metaphorical battle into a literal one as well?


Check out these related stories:

Nate Diaz's View on 'Mayweather vs McGregor' Makes a Lot of Sense

On Mayweather vs McGregor and Why We Talk About Fights That Will Never Happen

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Says a Fight With Conor McGregor Is "Possible"