From his boisterous press conferences, to his fancy wardrobe, to his entertaining fights, love him or hate him, Conor McGregor is arguably the Ultimate Fighting Championship's most popular fighter right now. Look no further than his recent $3 million dollar payday for his rematch with Nate Diaz in which McGregor lost the first meeting for proof. With a mouth as fast as his fists, the man labeled Notorious, doesn't have a filter, and has the type of personality that would induce most people to fight.
Recent comments made by McGregor about professional wrestlers, and World Wrestling Entertainment superstars in particular (he essentially called the majority of all WWE guys pussies) gained him no friends the WWE locker room, or professional wrestling in general. The statement caught the attention of more than a few employees of the Stanford based company, that resulted in a war of words on Twitter.
With Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Brock Lesnar, and Rhonda Rousey all having stepped foot inside a WWE ring, and Frank Trigg, Tito Ortiz, King Mo, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, among others doing the same in Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling, we can only hope that McGregor one day does the same.
In the meantime however, we are only left to think of what if. We here at TheSportster are going the creative route in a dream-match scenario, as we are giving you the top 15 wrestlers that would've beaten Conor McGregor in a real fight. In the interest of fairness, wrestlers like Mark Henry, The Undertaker, Kane, Braun Strowman, and the Big Show (obviously) will be excluded.
15 Chris Jericho
While the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla is often portrayed as a joker and a bit of a coward on television, the fact is that Chris Jericho is one of the toughest guys in the WWE. Generously billed as 6 feet tall, the man known also known as Y2J has consistently battled much bigger opponents in the ring, and often matching strength with the likes of John Cena, Roman Reigns, and Cesaro.
Outside of the squared circle however, is why I put him on the list, as Jericho has reportedly locked horns and held his own with real with giants such as Goldberg and most recently with the beast himself Brock Lesnar, both of who are much stronger and bigger than Conor Mcgregor. Anybody who has the guts to stand up to the likes of Goldberg and Lesnar wouldn't be intimidated by a featherweight and Jericho would be able to take McGregor down.
14 Kofi Kingston
The New Day member possesses the same length as McGregor's UFC 202 opponent Nick Diaz. What separates two however, is the former's athleticism, speed, and strength. Since Kingston debuted in the WWE's version of ECW in 2007, he has dazzled us with death-defying moves and athletic ability ever since. If Conor and Kofi were to ever lock horns, you would have to imagine that the wrestler would use his long reach like Diaz to keep the much smaller Irishman at bay, and then use his speed and power to land impact shots repeatedly.
Kofi has time and again proven he's one of the greatest athletes to ever grace a WWE ring and Kofi would remain quick throughout a fight with McGregor, able to finish him off in a later round. Even for a featherweight like McGregor, it's hard to picture him catching Kofi with a big strike.
13 Randy Orton
Despite the scripted smack down (excuse the pun) we saw him take at SummerSlam at the hands of Brock Lesnar that left him with 10 staples in his head, Randy Orton, is a physical specimen at 6'5 250 pounds of pure muscle. With size, strength, and athleticism on his side, and the quick strike ability to keep pace with McGregor, you would have to think that if these two ever met up in a real fight, that it would be a replay of the SummerSlam match, with the "Viper" being on the giving end of a real-life savage beating.
Orton has a vile mean streak in him that he has toned down as he's matured in WWE, but there's no doubt that fighting McGregor would cause that nasty side of Orton to re-emerge. The weight advantage might seem unfair, but Orton is not trained in MMA, making this fight pretty fair.
12 Sin Cara
Don't let the lack of size of the former Lucha Dragon fool you, Sin Cara is more than capable of holding his own in a fight. Over the last two years, the man formerly known as Hunico, has gotten the best of Sheamus and Simon Gotch of the Vaudevillians in real-life fights backstage. Both wrestlers have a significant advantage over the former tag-team specialist in both the height and weight department. If Sin Cara, who grew up on the rough streets of Mexico City, Mexico, can take care of business against those two, what do you think he would do against the smaller Conor McGregor?
McGregor has taken on Diaz and Sin Cara is at a similar weight, so of all the possible fights on this list, this would probably be the fairest. You can't teach toughness and we're confident Sin Cara's toughness and fearlessness would be able to score him a victory over McGregor.
Pound-for-pound one of the strongest men in the WWE, the Swiss Superman has picked up and slammed heavyweights like Mark Henry, Kane, and the Big Show, with relative ease. Imagine what Cesaro would do to somebody the size of Conor McGregor. While the UFC star might have the quick-strike advantage on his side, he would have to get in close enough to the strongman to land quality shots. That's where the problem lies, in that Cesaro is a capable submission artist, and if these two ended up going to the ground, (not McGregor's specialty) the WWE superstar would inflict some major damage on the loud-mouth.
If Cesaro got a hold of McGregors legs, he could probably pull off hundreds of rotations in the Cesaro swing and throw McGregor out of the octagon and into the crowd. This would definitely provide a lot of satisfaction to the WWE roster.
10 Alberto Del Rio
The currently suspended WWE wrestler not only has a size and strength advantage, over McGregor, but he can go toe-to-toe with him in mixed martial arts, as before getting into the world of professional wrestling full-time, Del Rio competed against the likes of Mirco Cro Cop, as a MMA fighter overseas under the alias Dos Caras Jr. As a submission artist, Del Rio finished his career with a 9-5 record.
While Del Rio might have to be wary of the swift leg kicks that McGregor displayed in his UFC 202 fight with Nate Diaz, his size and strength advantage should allow him to get in tight with his Welterweight opponent, and open up a can of ass whooping on his opponent.
Del Rio would bring legitimacy in a fight against McGregor and there's little doubt that he'd find a way to finish the Irishman off.
9 Kevin Owens
This showdown would give Kevin Owens a chance to live up to his motto of "Fight Owens Fight". The key to victory for Owens would be to use his size advantage (he outweighs McGregor by nearly 100 pounds) to wear down the UFC star, and to hammer him with heavy punches and kicks. While McGregor, who is a natural striker, would get some shots in of his own on the wrestler, you have to wonder how much damage he could actually inflict. While both combatants would no doubt be bloody afterwards, in a legit fight, I would have to go with the much bigger Owens.
While Owens doesn't exactly look like the kind of guy who would be built like an ice sculpture, he's one tough S.O.B and he wouldn't back down from anything McGregor would throw at him. Owens didn't get to where he is by being soft.
8 Apollo Crews
The up and coming WWE superstar is bigger, stronger, faster, and taller than the UFC superstar. The only advantage that "The Notorious" Conor McGregor would have is youth, as he is exactly 13 months younger than Apollo Crews. Yeah, that is pretty much the equivalent to offering someone an umbrella during a flood. Without a shadow of a doubt, this one would be over quickly, as McGregor would have no way of fighting off the over-powering wrestler.
Crews has ridiculous athleticism for his size. When you look at him, you would think he's just a typical powerhouse, but when you see him in action, you could swear he has the athleticism of a lightweight. There's no doubt that Crews would give McGregor all kinds of problems and would leave The Notorious One overwhelmed in the octagon. Whether you want to call him Apollo Crews or Apollo Creed, he'd take McGregor easily.
7 John Cena
McGreogor vs. the face of the WWE franchise would undoubtedly be a short and sweet encounter as John Cena has the advantage over the The UFC star in virtually every physical category that matters. McGregor's only hope is that he would be able to catch the wrestler with a lucky shot to the face that would knock Cena out. Otherwise, there's no telling how bad the beating the self-proclaimed champ would lay on his Welterweight opponent.
Does this fight not seem fair to you? Well, if McGregor said this about Cena "What's the main guy? John Cena. He's 40. He's 40 years of age. He's walking around in a luminous orange t-shirt and a headband talking about nobody can see him," the MMA fighter continued. "We can see him right there. He's a big, fat, 40-year-old failed Mr. Olympia motherf****."
If that's the case, you wouldn't mind fighting him, would you Conor?
By the way, Cena would also own McGregor in the smack talk leading up to the fight.
6 Roman Reigns
While he doesn't really connect with the majority of WWE fans, the rough and tough looking Samoan and former NFL and CFL football player would undoubtedly lay a beating on Conor McGregor if they ever squared off. McGregor's fast strike and trash-talking ability in the ring wouldn't help him at all, as Reigns would be able to match him toe-to-toe. The only entertaining part of this match-up would potentially be seeing the two-time Heavyweight champ pick up and toss the UFC star like a dart ala Kevin Nash to Rey Mysterio Jr. back in the day.
It would be interesting to see if WWE fans would finally embrace Reigns if he were to go against McGregor, who basically disrespected the business when he called out the WWE roster the way he did. Reigns would probably get the biggest pop of his career if he laid one good tackle on McGregor.
5 Wade Barrett
Oh boy, would it be fun to see Bad News Barrett put his bare-knuckle fighting background to good use against McGregor. Barrett is a legitimate tough guy and while he's no longer an active member of the WWE roster, he's still wrestling on the independent scene and he likely had a problem with what McGrgeor said regarding today's era of professional wrestlers.
Barrett is in incredible shape and he's tough as nails. Barrett plied his trade on some mean streets and McGregor wouldn't be able to withstand Barrett's punishment. This one really wouldn't be close and McGregor better hope he didn't upset Barrett with his recent comments. Or we're afraid we've got some bad news for Conor.
Barrett is still keeping himself busy today and with his bare knuckle fighting background, you probably can't rule out Barrett from pursuing MMA.
4 Kurt Angle
The professional wrestler and former Olympic gold medalist, has been teasing for years that he wants to get into the world of mixed martial arts. At the age of 47, it's highly doubtful that Kurt Angle will indeed step foot into an MMA cage. What isn't doubtful however, is the amount of damage Angle would inflict on Conor McGregor in a real fight. Can you imagine the smile on Angle's face while he is holding down McGregor with one hand, and pummeling him with the other?
Angle gave one of the strongest retorts to McGregor's comments, saying he would have taken him out in a real fight. “I’d take him down, then ground and pound him until I knocked him out,” said Angle. “Conor is a polished fighter, but with my size, I would overpower him. It wouldn’t be that difficult for me.” And that my friends, is true.
3 Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock being on this list is a must, given that he is a former professional wrestler, but he also happens to be an MMA legend. Today, Ken Shamrock has a glass jaw in the octagon, as he's lost his last few fights rather easily and if a fight between Shamrock and McGregor would take place today, even with the weight disadvantage, McGregor's quickness would be too much for Shamrock to handle. However, if Shamrock were in his prime, he would have little trouble disposing of McGregor. He could cut weight to get a little closer to McGrgeor's weight, buy ultimately, Shamrock was around in a much tougher era for MMA and he would be able to withstand what McGregor would throw at him.
Ken Shamrock was named the world's most dangerous man for a reason and McGrgeor is lucky Shamrock is now washed up, well into his 50s.
2 Brock Lesnar
This is no doubt a fight that both UFC and professional wrestling fans would no doubt pay good money to see. All the wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training in the world wouldn't help Conor McGregor in this one, as performance-enhancing drugs or no performance-enhancing drugs, Brock Lesnar would demolish the Irishman in a real-life fight. Knowing Lesnar, you can expect him to deal out a few broken limbs in the process. Lesnar responded strongly to McGregor's recent comments, saying:
"If Conor McGregor wants to say some s--t to me and get his name out there more than he already has, by dropping my name, I got about 10 f---ing words for him. Come here face-to-face Conor and say it to my face. Otherwise leave me and the f---ing WWE out of it because I came to your arena and kicked ass. Now if you want and you’re so f---ing tough, come to our arena and try to kick some ass."
Why is Meng/Haku on this list? Well, it's because he's by far the toughest wrestler of all time and if the stories about him are even remotely true, we're confident he would have beaten just about any MMA figthter on earth. From breaking out of handcuffs, to aborbing pepper spray with ease, to making Andre The Giant frightened, The Notorious One would be shaking in his trunks once he saw that his strikes would have absolutely no effect on Meng.
In his prime, there is no doubt that Meng would have destroyed McGregor and even in his advanced age now, we're fairly confident that Meng would still give McGregor plenty of problems. Meng hasn't spoken out on McGregor's anti-wrestling comments so for McGregor's sake, he'd better hope he didn't anger Meng too much.