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Dos Anjos, Diaz or Edgar: Who Hits the McLottery?

Photos Courtesy of AP

Everybody wants a piece of Conor McGregor.

Call the man Luke Skywalker because he’s the most wanted man in the galaxy right now. The McGregor sweepstakes is running wild in the UFC, and it’s like fat camp at a pizza parlor in the featherweight and lightweight divisions.

There was some validity in McGregor’s woefully offensive comments about “changing a bum’s life” at the “Go Big” press conference (Warning: NSFW Language) earlier this year. A fight against McGregor at this point in his career supersedes even a world title shot. It’s a rare and life-changing opportunity that has compelled callouts from UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Nate Diaz to former WWE champion Sheamus.

As the saying goes, it’s all about the Benjamins.

Perhaps the biggest misconception is that the first shot at McGregor should be given to the most deserving fighter, which in this case would be either Frankie Edgar or former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Edgar put the cherry on top of a five-fight win streak with an unfathomable first-round knockout win over perennial featherweight contender Chad Mendes at the TUF 22 Finale a couple of weeks back. Meanwhile, Aldo is coming off a 13-second knockout loss to McGregor after spending the last 10 years unbeaten.

There isn’t any secret that fights in the business-oriented UFC often come together based on earning potential. Although Edgar is a deserving and compelling contender, he is far from being the most lucrative option on paper.

His typical ho-hum personality in the media isn’t encouraging from a matchmaking perspective, but Edgar is a smart guy, who is obviously aware of his own media pitfalls. He has spoken up more in the last week than he has in his entire career.

However, it might all be too little, too late for Edgar, as there are more intriguing options in the picture. One of those options would be an immediate rematch with Aldo.

It would be asinine to question the legitimacy of McGregor’s greatness after witnessing him turn out the lights in record time on a man who hadn’t lost a fight since George W. Bush’s first term in the oval office. His victory was sublimely astounding in a way that it was too good for reality. Aldo’s coach, Andre Pederneiras even went as far as calling the fight-ending punch McGregor landed “lucky.”

Given all of the pre-fight hype, it’s only natural that some were left a bit dissatisfied by how quickly the fight ended, and there is still genuine interest in seeing how a full fight between McGregor and Aldo plays out.

But even with Aldo’s all-time great title run, it will be hard convincing the masses that an immediate rematch after a 13-second fight is more pressing than a pair of potential lightweight superfights, particularly a fight with Diaz.

The Stockton native had UFC and FOX executives shaking in their britches before grabbing the microphone and calling out McGregor on national television at UFC on FOX 17 last Saturday. His timely, profanity-laced post-fight rant was every bit as epic as it was distasteful, and it managed to generate more than enough buzz to get the masses talking. (Warning: NSFW Language)


A champion vs. champion fight between McGregor and dos Anjos would be equally as satisfying. Dos Anjos has looked like a destroyer at 155 pounds, and he was the unlucky recipient of McGregor’s “red panty” joke earlier in the year. The foundation has already been laid for a blockbuster headliner, if McGregor chooses to go in that direction.

But the betting hand lies on either a superfight with Diaz or McGregor staying at 145 pounds and defending his title against Edgar.

It makes little sense to risk McGregor so early in his title campaign against a dual threat like dos Anjos, whose striking has looked as superb as his black belt level grappling. Not that Diaz, who is also a black belt in Brazilian kiu-kjtsu, is any easier of an opponent, but he is more likely to oblige McGregor in a striking contest.

According to Diaz, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has already confirmed the fight is in the works.

“Oh, he said, ‘it’s on.’ He said, ‘we’re going to do this,’” Diaz told FOX Sports’ Ariel Helwani. “Hell yeah, [UFC] wants it. Everybody wants that fight.

“If people want to see a real fight, they know who to call.”

If it was only about seeing a real fight, the UFC would just call Edgar. But the people also want to see a show, and in that case, you call Nate Diaz.

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