Conor McGregor can’t afford to look past Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it’s certainly fair to wonder what The Notorious will tackle next, win or lose.
McGregor will face Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title this Saturday at UFC 229, after which the former two-division champion could go in any number of directions. It doesn’t sound like retirement’s an option — McGregor recently signed a six-fight contract with UFC — but there are several possibilities in terms of his next opponent, including a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., either under boxing or mixed martial arts rules.
“I’m certainly considering a few options. There’s this fight and the co-main (Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis),” McGregor told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani this week. “Of course then there’s boxing ventures. I’m very excited about that.
“If (Mayweather) has the bottle to come over and deal with this, like he said he has, let’s see what happens. I would also like to box him again. Everything is being discussed. Every rule set. If it’s not an MMA bout, then I don’t want to know. It’s either a straight MMA bout or a straight boxing bout. If they come looking for modified rules, I would rather just box the kid again. If you don’t want to deal with it, then don’t deal with it and stop going on like you’re doing.”
One other intriguing possibility for McGregor is a trilogy fight against Nate Diaz. The two fought at UFC 196 in March 2016 and at UFC 202 in August 2016 — Diaz won the first fight and McGregor won the rematch — and it could just be a matter of time before they lock horns again.
“Nate Diaz will always have a rematch off of me,” McGregor told Helwani. “No matter what happens, I will always give that man his rematch. He gave me a rematch, I give him a rematch. That’s the way it is. When it will happen, I don’t know. We will complete that trilogy, no doubt about it.”
As for a possible fight against Georges St-Pierre? Well, McGregor doesn’t sound all that interested, instead suggesting another UFC legend.
“I would be interested in an Anderson Silva bout. I swear to God,” McGregor said, per Helwani. “Anderson is a legend in the game. What’s the difference between him and Georges? Same damn thing. I’m going to do fights that interest me or have meaning.”
There’s no denying this Saturday’s fight has meaning. Not only is the UFC lightweight title on the line. But McGregor and Nurmagomedov also have developed a very intense rivalry in recent months.
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