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Conor McGregor’s 'Five-Man Shortlist' For Potential UFC Opponent Named

Conor McGregor’s 'Five-Man Shortlist' For Potential UFC Opponent Named

UFC superstar Conor McGregor could set up mouth-watering blockbuster clashes with one of five major opponents when he returns to the octagon, according to Chael Sonnen.

The 31-year-old Irishman made his long-awaited UFC return back in January with an emphatic first-round win against Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.

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Former MMA fighter Sonnen, 43, has now weighed in on McGregor's options going forward and unveiled his five-man shortlist for the UFC superstar.

The MMA analyst named one of those options as UFC star Jorge Masvidal, who the 'Notorious' has shared a heated rivalry with.

"That fight, for me, makes a lot of sense," Sonnen said in a video on his YouTube channel.

"It's also compelling, and I would like to see the BMF on the line. I never loved the idea that this [BMF title] is a one-off. Why's it got to be a one-off? Let's see Conor, let's see the BMF."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to Sonnen, two of McGregor's other opponents could come in the form of Nate and Nick Diaz.

Nate, who lost to Masvidal in November 2019, clashed with the 'Notorious' twice in 2016 and a third fight with McGregor would complete their trilogy of fights.

However, Sonnen has admitted that he would also like the idea of Nick clashing with McGregor, despite saying that it's "wishful thinking."

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He explained: "You can do it when they're both on highs, you can do it when they're both on lows.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Anywhere over, I would estimate, the next three years, anywhere you want to play that card is going to be the right time regardless of previous more recent outcomes by either athlete.

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"I did put Diaz and not Nate. I'm in for Nate, but there's also talk of Nick. I think that's more wishful thinking. I think Nick vs Conor works. I know Nate vs Conor works."

McGregor's UFC return against Cerrone came two years after his sensational defeat to fierce rival Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in 2018.

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The 'Notorious' has been vocal about his desire to rematch the undefeated Khabib and the pair have continued to trade blows on social media.

Sonnen pointed to McGregor and Khabib's initial clash and insisted that the numbers "don't lie and the heat here is real."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The 43-year-old said: "Numbers don't lie and the heat here is real.

"The fact that they did 2.4million buys in a sold-out arena, not to mention all the things they did after that... Look, we had a lot of drama leading into that fight that even involved a courtroom, some handcuffs and a judge. No sense in denying the story.

"We had some drama after the fight where Khabib goes over the cage, into the crowd, they hold up his purse, the governor and his personal security have to rush out the back... there was a lot of stuff there to set you up for a rematch.

"That was a competitive fight in its moments. In its moments it was very competitive."

Sonnen revealed that the final name on his five-man shortlist for McGregor would be a mega-clash with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

'GSP,' who retired from MMA in 2019, has teased the idea of returning to combat sports amid speculation over a dream clash with Khabib.

But Sonnen believes that the 39-year-old Canadian star could be an option for McGregor should the Irishman be "willing" to fight at 170lbs again.

"Conor McGregor vs Georges St-Pierre," he said.

"There's something on that, period. Georges is dangling this idea of coming back, but claims he'll only go against Khabib. I have always taken that to mean, 'I will come back for a big fight.'

"The time Georges said it would only be for Khabib, Conor wasn't even licensed [to compete]. Conor wasn't even in the mix.

"So I think it's very relevant to say, if Conor's willing to go to 170 pounds -- and clearly he is -- [and] if Georges is looking for something big to do, Conor's always big. For me, that one also has to be in play."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor Mcgregor, Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Chael Sonnen, Notorious, UFC News, MMA News, Nick Diaz, UFC, MMA, Georges St-Pierre

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]