Conor McGregor next fight: The five men The Notorious could face after his shock UFC 257 loss to Dustin Poirier

CONOR MCGREGOR's eagerly-anticipated return to the UFC ended with him suffering a stunning defeat to Dustin Poirier.

The former two-division champion made his long-awaited return to the octagon in the early hours of Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.

Ireland's first UFC champion suffered a shock loss in his rematch with The Diamond, losing

As is the case in the immediate aftermath of every McGregor fight, attention has already turned to who he'll face next.

But the intrigue in his next opponent is even greater following his third setback inside the octagon.

With that in mind, SunSport thought it'd only be right to give you the lowdown on the five men The Notorious is most likely to fight next.

Check them out below.


Michael Chandler

The UFC new-boy looked impressive in his debut against the durable and dangerous Dan Hooker.

And by claiming such a huge scalp in his maiden octagon outing, he's now one of the belles of the ball.

The only way is up for former Bellator lightweight champion, who many have long believed to be the best 155-pounder outside of the UFC.

So why not throw him in there with McGregor, whose name will likely be next to his when the new rankings come out on Tuesday.

Nate Diaz

McGregor and Nate Diaz put on two of the most memorable bouts in recent UFC history in their back-to-back wars in 2016.

The bitter rivals' series is level at 1-1. So to say they have unfinished business would be somewhat of an understatement.

Despite their unforgettable rematch at UFC 202 taking place nearly five years ago, a trilogy fight between the rivals is still high on many fans’ wish lists.

Diaz's interest in a rubber match, however, has seemingly waned in recent years. But with both men now on a skid, perhaps now is the time for them to run it back again.

Justin Gaethje

Former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje was the last man to lose to Khabib Nurmagomedov, coming up short against the Russian in their 155lb title unification bout last October.

There was a strong case for The Highlight to be the man standing across from McGregor this weekend. Alas, that never happened.

But the time to make McGregor vs Gaethje is now. There’s too much heat between these two not to make the fight.

And following McGregor's setback to Poirier, they're both currently out of the win column.

Yes, one can make the salient point that Gaethje should be fighting for the title next as he was the last man to lose to Nurmagomedov.

But honestly, I think most people would quickly overlook that fact when they realise just how mouth-watering a McGregor vs Gaethje match-up is.

Rafael dos Anjos

Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has twice had a fight with McGregor slip through his hands.

Injury nixed their first scheduled meeting at UFC 196, with the Brazilian being forced out of their champion-versus-champion bout with a broken foot.

And McGregor's rampage at the infamous UFC 223 media day in New York led to the promotion to scrap plans for an interim welterweight title fight between the pair.

A fight with Mystic Mac is now in touching distance for RDA following the Irishman's fifth professional loss.

And it makes complete sense at this juncture of their respective careers.

Paul Felder

UFC commentator and lightweight standout Paul Felder was on the receiving end of a tongue lashing from McGregor last January, with the former 145lb and 155lb champion branding him 'a fool' in the aftermath of his 40-second demolition of Donald Cerrone.

McGregor took another dig at the Irish Dragon a month later, branding him a 'Ginger German twat.'

While a fight with Felder wouldn't draw a lot of casual eyes, it makes some sense given both men have lost their last outings.

And the added spice of McGregor disliking the fan favourite makes it a more-than-viable match-up for his next outing, whenever that might be.

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