Conor McGregor has always dealt in firsts.

He was the Ireland’s first UFC champion and set the record for the fastest finish ever in a title fight, and by beating Eddie Alvarez on Saturday became the first fighter to hold a belt on each shoulder.

It was undoubtedly his greatest achievement – and one that places him among the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.

That he did so with relative ease against an opponent whose hard-nosed wrestling style was ideally suited to grind him down only highlighted the complete competitor the Irishman has become.

His improved takedown defence, coupled with perhaps the best boxing skills the sport of MMA has ever seen, has made him seemingly unstoppable.

And crucially, the 28-year-old is continually backing up his unmatched bravado outside of the Octagon.

With every win he strengthens his position as the UFC’s king and kingmaker.

He is the fighter everyone wants to fight, who can provide the most lucrative payday possible.

He is called out by would-be contenders on an almost daily basis.

It seems, though, that McGregor is running out of opponents that can further elevate his standing in the sport.

Having not defended his featherweight title since he won it at UFC 194 a year ago, the Dubliner is under pressure to put one of his belts on the line for the first time in his career.

But in Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, he has already defeated two of the UFC’s top-three featherweight contenders.

And the other member of that group – Frankie Edgar – lost to Aldo in July.

Tougher challenges await in the lightweight division that he has ruled since Saturday night.

But while 155-pounders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are deserving of title shots, they are not names that will convince casual fight fans to purchase a pay-per-view.

Suggestions of a possible meeting with welterweight champion Tyron Woodley are indicative of the shortage of viable options in his own weight classes.

While McGregor would love to add another belt to his hoard, the American – considerably bigger and stronger than any of his opponents to date – would be too big a mismatch.

Which leaves Nate Diaz – the only man to have beaten McGregor in the UFC – and perhaps the double champion’s most lucrative option.

Their rivalry has captivated fans since they first met in the Octagon at UFC 196 in March, and has already produced two classic fights.

A rubber match for the lightweight title is the biggest fight the UFC could possibly set up.

Should McGregor take that option, he will undoubtedly take criticism from those in the sport for not giving an opportunity to another deserving contender.

On Saturday night Nurmagomedov branded the champion a “chicken” for failing to fight him to this point.

But McGregor has earned the right to pick and choose his opponents.

He has transcended the sport to an extent that no other fighter – Ronda Rousey aside – has managed to.

And while he continues to break pay-per-view records, his peers can only hope to be given a chance to do the same.