Conor McGregor’s Return to UFC?
The biggest name in UFC, Irishman McGregor has managed to boost the sport’s profile in 2017 even without taking part in a single contest. He spent the year preparing for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr in August, and put in a creditable performance against the undefeated American before the fight was stopped in the tenth round.
McGregor has said he would like to box again and UFC president Dana White admitted just last week that he was unsure about whether he would return to mixed martial arts. He said: “Try to get up and get punched in the face for a living when you've got $100 million in the bank.” Negotiations over a comeback bout are nevertheless reportedly ongoing, possibly even for the end of 2017, and there are a host of possible opponents who fans would love to see McGregor tackle in 2018.
Bookmakers have come up with odds for potential McGregor fights against Tony Ferguson, Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tyron Woodley, making the Irishman a firm favourite in each scenario. The man he would probably most like to face, though, is Max Holloway, the current undisputed Featherweight champion after his victory over Aldo at UFC 218. Holloway has been on an incredible run since losing to McGregor in 2013, winning 12 consecutive fights, and would surely give a better account of himself in a rematch.
Johnson v Dillashaw
White announced at the UFC 218 post-fight press conference that bantamweight champion Dillashaw would finally take on Flyweight superstar Johnson in an eagerly-awaited bout. The details of the date and location have yet to be confirmed, but both men will be relishing the prospect of enhancing their reputations. For ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson, in particular, it would be an opportunity to prove that he is the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the business, and it would be hard to bet against someone who has not been defeated for six years. However, ‘Killashaw’ is the naturally heavier man and would represent perhaps the toughest challenge of Johnson’s career. Early odds suggest that Johnson would be a slight favourite, so it may well be worth having a cautious flutter on Dillashaw at around 6/5.
Jones v Lesnar
Another mouthwatering possibility for 2018 is the potential heavyweight showdown between Jones and Lesnar. As Lesnar is currently signed up with WWE, a fight does not look imminent, but Jones has repeatedly called out his rival and the bookies have drawn up some early odds. Jones is currently rated at 1/4, compared to Lesnar’s price of 13/5, and the fight has already been billed as perhaps ‘the biggest and best in UFC history’
Sports.net’s Top Tip:
TJ Dillashaw to beat Demetrious Johnson
Please note, odds may fluctuate.