Conor McGregor unlikely to fight again in 2017, says coach

By @saihoops on
Conor McGregor, Conor McGregor's next fight
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas

Conor McGregor, the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, is unlikely defend his title before the end of the year, according to coach John Kavanagh. In the aftermath of his record-breaking boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather, McGregor was expected to return to the Octagon at some stage in 2017.

Kavanagh believes McGregor will need time to plan his next fight at end of his ongoing hiatus. “It’s probably a little late in the day to realistically expect another fight before the end of the year, because even after this hiatus is over, a lot goes into the planning and execution of a training camp at our level. I find it hard to envisage another fight in 2017," the Irishman wrote in a guest column for The42.ie.

In the wake of his biggest payday, the Irishman was posed with various options, which included retirement from combat sports or pursue more fights inside the squared circle. However, a return to the octagon is the most likely outcome. 

Conor McGregor's next fight: Who will the Irishman face?

While bouts against Paulie Malignaggi, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway have been discussed, it's the Nate Diaz trilogy that has generated most interest among combat sports aficionados. After Audie Attar, the manager of McGregor, called the trilogy "the fight that everyone wants to see," Kavanagh echoed the sentiments. “I’ve said for a long time that the Nate Diaz trilogy fight at lightweight is what I’d personally like to see next. That still needs to be put to bed.”

McGregor's next title defence could also come against the winner of the upcoming fight between Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC). The second and seventh-ranked fighters in the lightweight division will come to blows at UFC 216 on Sept. 10. 

“To be completely honest, I didn’t actually know who Kevin (Lee) was until very recently. Tony is a solid fighter, but he doesn’t have the kind of appeal that would get your blood racing, particularly in the context of coming from the excitement of the Nate Diaz rematch, the historical significance of beating Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden, and the novelty of facing the greatest boxer of his generation," Kavanagh added. 

Conor McGregor has options aplenty, and his management team believes it's a good problem to have. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing) endured a 10th-round TKO loss to to Mayweather (50-0 boxing) but not before earning the respect of the boxing world for giving a good account of himself. McGregor is projected to earn a whopping US$100 million (AU$125 million) from the crossover fight. Stay tuned for the latest on Conor McGregor's next fight.

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