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Morning Report: Coach Owen Roddy suggests Conor McGregor could face Justin Gaethje in July

UFC 229 - Open Workouts Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

In recent weeks, the coronavirus has thrown the sports world into chaos, with essentially every major sport on the planet cancelling seasons or suspending events. Even the UFC finally gave way to the global pandemic, postponing its next three events in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly virus, but insisting that UFC 249 in mid-April would still take place, even if if has to happen under very different circumstances. Considering the rapidly changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, even that promise from Dana White is starting to seem ambitious and the MMA world could be in for several months of drought. Fortunately, Owen Roddy is offering the MMA world a big bright light at the end of the tunnel: another Conor McGregor fight.

Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Tuesday, Conor McGregor’s striking coach suggested that though things are chaotic right now, the plan currently is for McGregor to fight on July 11th which would hopefully bring the UFC. back to life after the extended break.

“Most definitely. That’s the plan hopefully,” Roddy said. “Bring the UFC back to life as well with all these shows being canceled and stuff like that, I think a fight on July 11 would bring the UFC back to life and get everybody back on track. So my fingers are crossed and I’m sure the rest of the world fingers are crossed for that fight.”

McGregor last fought in January, knocking out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246. In recent years, that would likely have been the only McGregor fight of the year as “Notorious” had taken to a minimalist competition schedule. However, coming into 2020, the former two-weight world champion insisted he would fight three times this year and a target date of July 11th would put him on track to accomplish just that.

Of course who he will face is another question entirely. Dana White has insisted that McGregor’s next fight be for the lightweight title, but with Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson now in jeopardy of being cancelled for a fifth time, it’s hard to imagine McGregor will be jumping the line over Ferguson. Fortunately, Roddy does have another opponent in mind that he believes would make sense: Justin Gaethje.

“Anyone to be honest but you know, maybe Gaethje,” Roddy said. “There is a lot of talk about Gaethje. I mean, he’s an exciting fighter, Gaethje. I would like to see it, I’m sure you’d like to see it, and I’m sure the rest of the world would like to see it. So yeah, potentially that, but to be honest, anyone. I know Conor is raring to go and everyone will be raring to go by the time July comes around.”

Rumors have been circulating for some time now that if McGregor were to fight again before a title shot, Gaethje had the inside position for that bout. Gaethje is currently the fourth-ranked lightweight in the UFC and riding a three-fight win streak that has him knocking on the door of a title shot himself. The winner of a Gaethje-McGregor fight would basically be guaranteed a title shot and the bout itself would be front-runner for Fight of the Year.

Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel after all.


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I’ve said it many times before and it’s no less true now: Conor McGregor vs. Justin Gaethje is the most exciting fight in the history of the sport. Put that fight together with Khabib-Tony (the greatest fight in the history of the sport) and you have something perfect. II hope we get to see it all.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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