Conor McGregor’s quickfire demolition of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 is undoubtedly a great way for the Irishman to mark his return to mixed martial arts.
However, in the grand scheme of things the fight is merely a steppingstone to what could shape up into a huge year for the former featherweight and lightweight champion.
With pundits falling over themselves to predict the 31-year-old’s next move, we take a closer look at what 2020 may have in store for McGregor.
Boxing stars eager for a piece of the pie
Following McGregor’s victory over Cerrone, his name was linked to huge crossover fights with boxing stars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, also threw another name into the mix by claiming that welterweight champion boxer Terence Crawford wants to face McGregor in the Octagon.
While any of those fights would be clearly a huge money-spinner, it makes no sense for McGregor to head down that route if he wishes to cement his legacy in the UFC.
He was outclassed by Mayweather when they met in the boxing ring back in 2017 and a similar outcome would be on the cards if he decided to have another tilt.
Ultimately things boil down to whether McGregor wants to climb back to the top of the tree in the UFC or simply pad out his bank balance.
Masvidal and Usman are tempting propositions
McGregor has stated that he plans to be busy in 2020, opening the door for him to fight another three times this year.
A clash with Jorge Masvidal for the ridiculously titled baddest mother****** belt would be a huge draw for the UFC and hand McGregor a route to even bigger fights.
McGregor would be favourite in the UFC betting by BetEasy to beat Masvidal, although he would be wise not to underestimate the threat he poses.
A victory in that fight would fire McGregor up the rankings and make it easier for the UFC to give him a title shot against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
If McGregor could safely navigate his way past Masvidal and Usman, he may well end the year with the blockbuster rematch everyone wants to see.
Nurmagomedov the ultimate goal
McGregor was mauled into submission by Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2018 and that defeat still rankles heavily with the proud Irishman.
He subsequently claimed that he failed to prepare properly for that fight and you couldn’t imagine him making the same mistake if he secured a second bout.
The lightweight champion and his camp have been doing plenty of talking over the past year, largely to dismiss McGregor as a potential challenger for the title.
However, if Nurmagomedov safely comes through his fight with Tony Ferguson in April, the clamour for a rematch will grow.
McGregor offers Nurmagomedov his best chance of securing the bumper payday he believes he deserves and it would be no surprise to see the pair do battle once again later this year.