There are rumours that a deal between Conor McGregor and the UFC is close, one that would see the Irishman fight twice for the promotion in 2018.
In this climate, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh weighed in on his next opponent on MMA Fighting’s morning report, claiming that the Nate Diaz trilogy fight is only likely after McGregor fights the winner of the Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor has been out of action ever since his 10th round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather in a one-off boxing bout in July 2017, but we’d have to go back to UFC 205 in 2016 for his last MMA fight when he captured the UFC Lightweight Championship against Eddie Alvarez.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding McGregor’s future since, which has only escalated in 2018 amidst claims that he has held up the division. Undisputed number one contender Khabib Nurmagomedov and Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson have meanwhile been booked to fight at UFC 223, with the UFC not coming forth to clear the air if they’re competing for the undisputed or the interim belt when contract negotiations with McGregor are still locked in an impasse.
Meanwhile, the Irishman’s head coach John Kavanagh had this to say about McGregor’s next fight in the UFC:
“Conor’s had an MMA fight and a boxing fight since and we haven’t seen Nate since. So I started changing and you could see it amongst the fans who are – I’ve always said and I still believe – are the most important factor in all of this because they pay for the Pay-Per-Views, and that’s what they want to see.
But you can see it was clearly becoming they wanted to see either Khabib or Tony in there rather than [Nate], probably for the same reason that we didn’t: Nate didn’t keep busy.
So I don’t think it would be quite right for that to happen before the winner of [Khabib]-Tony, because Conor, [Khabib], and Tony have kept busy and Nate hasn’t|