Conor McGregor versus Tyron Woodley anyone?
The Notorious King from Ireland recently became the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles concurrently. But if you think Conor Mac will just rest on his laurels, think again. Although McGregor predicted that he’d hold two world titles by 2016 (that prophecy has come true), he also said last year that he ‘could’ be gunning for a third.
That didn’t look too serious last year as it was the fearsome Robbie Lawler who held the UFC welterweight title. A lot of things have changed since then, notably Lawler being knocked out by Tyron Woodley at UFC 201. McGregor fought twice at welterweight and went 1-1 against Nate Diaz. Then at UFC 205 McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight title while Woodley retained his welterweight title with a draw against Stephen Thompson.
Before UFC 205 though, McGregor and Woodley had a tense confrontation during the weigh-ins:
The McGregor-Woodly moment was followed by a brief spat between the two on Twitter. After McGregor accomplished history by earning two title belts, he hoisted Woodley’s belt along with Eddie Alvarez’s lightweight strap. While Woodley said he loaned his belt for McGregor’s photo ops, McGregor said maybe that was a “sign of things to come.” And so it appears the battle lines have been drawn.
Woodley may be headed to a rematch with Wonderboy and the winner could face Demian Maia next–or not. McGregor said he will be taking a break because of his girlfriend’s pregnancy and because he had a hectic 2016 where he broke financial records one after the other. A break seems well deserved. When McGregor returns, however, he is likely to face Nate Diaz in a grudge match or Woodley in a historic bout for an unprecedented third world title. What are his chances?
The oddsmakers at 5dimes (per report from oddsshark.com), have already opened their betting lines for a McGregor-Woodley bout, where according to the report, Woodley opened as a -155 favorite and McGregor slightly back at +125. As of the latest, those numbers have changed to -165 for T-Wood and the same for Conor Mac at +125.
McGregor’s left hand has been a riddle for his opponents in the UFC. Nobody has been able to solve his unique combination of movement, precision and timing. Remember the infamous McGregor quote: “precision beats power and timing beats speed?” Thus far, only Diaz has been able to match McGregor inside the Octagon, beating him once and losing a close decision the second time out. That fight was at 170 pounds, Woodley’s backyard, and Diaz isn’t even a legit welterweight. Against Woodley, however, McGregor will be facing a natural welterweight with genuine one-punch KO power (just ask Robbie Lawler). Woodley is also an excellent grappler with collegiate wrestling experience. T-Wood supposedly has the advantage here. But remember in his most recent bout with a fast-moving, slick striker in Wonderboy Thompson, Woodley couldn’t finish and struggled against him. You bet John Kavanaugh and Team McGregor are watching that tape as early as now. If there’s anyone who can frustrate Woodley, it might just be someone like regor.
As for now, this bout is still in dreamland, but if McGregor wants it and McGregor demands it, we may just see it happen.