Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje in Talks for Summer UFC Showdown

Ryan Phillips
Conor McGregor before his fight against Donald Cerrone
Conor McGregor before his fight against Donald Cerrone / Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Conor McGregor might be back sooner than originally expected. The Notorious one was expected to be sidelined until he got a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it's looking increasingly likely he'll actually fight this summer. And his target opponent has been revealed.

The UFC is in talks with McGregor and lightweight knockout artist Justin Gaethje, according to ESPN's Ariel Helwani. While talks are in the preliminary stages, this could be a great fight for the organization.

Gaethje is 21-2 with 18 wins by knockout. He is on a three-fight win streak with knockout victories over Donald Cerrone, Edson Barbosa and James Vick. He's a huge puncher and has won a post-fight bonus in each of his first six UFC fights. If nothing else, he's a showman. That's the perfect kind of opponent for McGregor.

After a long layoff, McGregor destroyed Cerrone at UFC 246. He scored a TKO victory in 40 seconds, announcing his return to mixed martial arts with authority. He's claimed he wants to fight three times this year, but UFC president Dana White seemed to throw cold water on that by claiming McGregor's next fight would come against Nurmagomedov. Maybe that's changing.

The more McGregor fights, the better for the UFC. A matchup with an opponent like Gaethje could be a great show for the fans. It would be the right decision to match them up.