McGregor 100/1 shot for Royal Rumble
The Irishman's loyalties still very much lie with the UFC. His first fight on returning to the UFC will be a match against the interim lightweight champion, the identity of whom (Kevin Lee or Tony Ferguson) will be decided at UFC 216 in October. There is also a raft of other potential opponents for McGregor, all of which are considered by bookmakers to be game opponents for the Irishman in early 2018. Such potential opponents include Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz and Tyron Woodley, with McGregor considered an outsider only against the latter, and only at a price of 13/10.
In contradiction to these odds, which suggest a long-term UFC commitment from McGregor, the Dubliner is currently priced on a long list at 100/1 to win January's Royal Rumble – commanding the same price as WWE regulars Ryback and Dash Wilder. With a £20 free bet currently available to use with the latest Royal Rumble odds, there are far worthier wrestlers (such as John Cena and Roman Reigns) to back, but McGregor undoubtedly has the charisma and sense of showmanship needed to be considered for a Royal Rumble cameo at the very least.
McGregor partners – the shortlist
There are many other U.K sports free bets and prices, which pertain to events in which Conor McGregor will feature. Although the Royal Rumble is a one-off, the idea of McGregor joining the WWE, even on a temporary basis or just as a cameo, is intriguing. While McGregor's charisma would get him far in professional wrestling, he does not have the grappling and acrobatic skills demanded of the WWE's most loved stars. As a pure striker, McGregor would be well-advised to partner up with an all-round wrestler to make a success of any WWE appearances.
Due to their Irish backgrounds, Finn Balor and Sheamus would be obvious companions for McGregor. Indeed, Finn Balor has even ventured to suggest that McGregor should join him as a tag team partner in the event of 'The Notorious' making a full-time defection to the WWE franchise. McGregor also holds obvious common ground with Brock Lesnar, who was also once a feared and respected entity in the Octagon. A tag team partnership between two MMA experts may seem like too much of an obvious development, but it is still one to ponder. On the other hand, a scripted feud between McGregor and Lesnar would risk turning their 'climactic' WWE bout into a mere UFC fight.
For McGregor to side with Canadian Sami Zayn would be a surprise move, but there are some similarities between the two in terms of their appearance, which might provide something for Vince McMahon to market in this scenario. Unlike McGregor, Zayn has previous for top rope athleticism, having undertaken a luchador-style persona in his pre-WWE days. For that reason, whether as feuding foes or tag partners, any relationship between the McGregor and Zayn would be an intriguing one that could not fail to draw in significant PPV buys.
Ultimately, a WWE debut for McGregor is inevitable – the only question is whether or not he will stay.