Conor McGregor has spoken out in-depth for the first time since his 10th round loss to Floyd Mayweather in August, and the main takewaway was that all options are still open as to who he is going to fight next.
McGregor was speaking at a special ‘Evening With’ event in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday night and discussed potential options for his next fight with interviewer Caroline Pearce.
“An option; there’s an interim belt on the line right now [Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee]– that’s an option,” McGregor said.
“Of course the Nate Diaz trilogy fight is there. Maybe one of these boxing guys…maybe Malignaggi would come over and do an MMA bout…or Floyd, maybe I could entice Floyd back.
“We could either do a rematch in boxing, or like he said originally, we’ll do an MMA fight next. They are the options that are on the table for me right now.”
‘The Notorious’ appeared to be particularly interested in the outcome of the Ferguson vs. Lee fight, which takes place next weekend, while at the same time appearing to be somewhat dismissive of a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, despite that being the option most people had believed was most likely going to be his next step.
“I’m happy [Ferguson and Lee are] fighting. This is what I wanted because they’re all bums at the end of the day make no mistake about that. I’m just happy they’re fighting. I just want to see them compete,” declared McGregor.
“Too many of them pull out right at the wire and we’re still not at this fight yet, so I’m just going to pray that this one goes ahead. Of course Nate is still there waiting, but he’ll be left waiting until we figure something out.
“I’m just going to put a few options out there and see what bounces back. It’s got to excite me, let me see what these two fools do this weekend. We’ll see what the energy is like.”
Outside of that, there were a couple of other lightweight fighters that are still on McGregor’s radar.
“Obviously, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] in Russia would be a great one. It would be a crazy one. We’ll see what happens. I’ll need to see him make weight though. There’s no way I’m going over there and he’s not making weight. I need assurance.”
“…There’s also that [Justin] Gaethje guy, he’s fighting another guy that I fought for the title, Eddie Alvarez. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens there. He’s an undefeated fighter and Eddie could come back.
“I just want to see them fight. They’re talking about me fighting? I’m the one going into other peoples’ domains and fighting. They’re sitting on Twitter typing away and complaining. I’m in there trying to do it.”
However, though it could be one of the most lucrative options for him, a fight that McGregor doesn’t seem to think will happen is against pound-for-pound great Georges St-Pierre, despite the Canadian star apparently being interested in the possibility if he defeats middleweight champion Michael Bisping in November.
“It’s another money fight, even though he’s been retired. “I don’t know, I think he’s going to get his ass whooped by Bisping. To be honest I think it’s a mistake for him to step in at that weight after so long out.”
The fight McGregor spoke about most though was a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather, with the Irish superstar remaining adamant that he has what it takes to beat the now 50-0 legend.
“I know if I went another go with him, under boxing rules, I’d get that win. I know that. I know by the feeling of him in the first fight.
“He had to change his whole approach. He fought completely different than he ever fought. He couldn’t figure out what I was doing early on.
“With the lessons I learned from that first fight, if I had another go now, I’d get him. At the same time, he’s 50-0 and he’s getting on, I’m not gonna start calling him out. I’m happy to see a fighter (do well).”
After their last fight, Mayweather appeared to have definitively settled on retiring from the sport, but he’s made several comebacks in the past, and even though he made a nine-figure sum from their fight, McGregor thinks his nemesis may be looking for another pay cheque before long given the lavish lifestyle that he enjoys.
““I’m thinking, the tax bill of this last fight, the tax bill off his previous bill, and then his good investments, I think I could be getting a call anytime soon to go again and I f**king want to.”
Ideally though, McGregor would want to fight him in the Octagon next time.
“Originally, he said an MMA fight next. He was talking about an MMA fight next.
“That’s what he said before the fight. So, what’s he going to do? Does he want another fight? In my head I’m thinking, get one of these boxing guys to come over into my world now.”
That being said, he accepts that he was beaten fair and square in the boxing ring, but he does apparently hold a few regrets about not being able to display the full extent of his fighting skills in the ring.
“Make no mistake, every time I took his back in that f**king fight and the referee separated us, in a real fight it’s done right there. That was the part for me that I had to get over the most.
“I almost feel like I sold myself out. I put so many skills and so many shots in my back pocket for a pay check and big event and that’s been messing with my head a little bit.”
With all that said though, McGregor claims he won’t be directly calling out Mayweather any time soon given that his foe has retired.
“It’s a dangerous game we’re in. I’m not gonna start calling him out. I’ll sit back and wait and I’ll fight.
“Let’s see how he handles this round of money. I might get the phone call again and we may do it again.”