Conor McGregor didn't come out on top in his efforts to defeat Floyd Mayweather. What he did do was establish himself as one of the biggest draws in pay-per-view history and with Mayweather retiring, the fight-game is McGregor's.
Will Dana White and the UFC come calling? Will McGregor actually try to make a career in professional boxing? Neither would surprise anyone at this stage and the world is McGregor's oyster.
Now that McGregor is through with the circus that was "The Moneyman" versus "The Irishman", what is next? Who should Conor McGregor fight? Here are five of the best options:
5. Floyd Mayweather
In the first fight, McGregor proved all he needed to. When the first fight ended, Mayweather retired. Those two things won't stop people from calling for Mayweather vs McGregor II. Is this a bout the world would want to see?
The first time luster is now gone. People who wanted to know what would happen when a non-boxer stepped into the ring with one of the best boxers in the world now know. It's was what most people expected—the boxer won a boxing match. Not terribly hard to predict.
4. Nate Diaz
McGregor has a high-paying third bout with UFC fighter Nate Diaz waiting for him. Knowing how much money the first two fights made, there would be no hesitation on the part of Dana White and the UFC to book the trilogy. Diaz would undoubtedly be up for the opportunity to take McGregor down and it could be McGregor's biggest UFC payday if he returns.
You can see Diaz cozying up with Mayweather after the fight. Is that a sign of things to come?
3. Paulie Malignaggi
If you watched any of the press leading up to the McGregor and Mayweather contest, you saw a ton of media and hype surrounding the two fighter's training routines. On the MMA fighter's side, McGregor asked Paulie Malignaggi to spar with him in an effort to simulate live in-ring action. What resulted was a very angry Malignaggi.
The issue here is this would make for two consecutive boxing bouts and Dana White has already said he wouldn't be on board to endorse another McGregor boxing match when he believes McGregor should be fighting in the UFC. If it could be done, there are some people willing to pay and many probably now believe McGregor would be the victor. That might not have been the case before the Mayweather fight.
2. A WWE Opponent
It seems like Conor McGregor is finally admitting to being a fan of Vince McMahon... https://t.co/1f81cvT320— PWStream (@PWStream) August 13, 2017
Most know that McGregor is a fan of Vince McMahon. Whether it's McMahon's larger-than-life personality or his ability to market himself and his brand better than anyone, McGregor is a perfect fit for a company like the WWE.
Again, things would need to break down on the MMA front, but stranger things have happened than an MMA fighter using his celebrity to cash in on a lucrative WWE career, just ask Brock Lesnar. If fans really want to know how well it might work, watch for the potentially soon-to-appear Ronda Rousey.
1. Any Other UFC Fighter
McGregor is like a license to print money for the UFC. Having hung with one of the greatest boxers in the world, people just want to see McGregor, even if it's checking out a library book, riding a bicycle, or making a sandwich. White should capitalize on McGregor's popularity and get him the octagon sooner than later.
Pit him against almost anyone and it's bound to be the highest grossing UFC of all time. It's going to cost a fortune to get McGregor in the UFC again, but he'll be worth the investment.