Conor McGregor aka “The Notorious” made a big career move in 2017 when he fought in his first professional boxing match. After losing to Floyd Mayweather (and collecting $100 million), there were anticipations on whether he will have another boxing fight or he will return to mixed martial arts and defend his UFC champion belt.
In a recent interview with BBC, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh confirms that the Dubliner is back in training. However, he could not say for a certain what McGregor’s decision is regarding his next fight. But if he can have his way, he reveals that he will be “pushing very hard for MMA.” He added:
“The boxing was a nice detour from what we’ve done, but mixed martial arts is my passion. So, if I have anything to do with it, he’ll be in the Octagon this year.”
McGregor has not fought in the UFC since 2016 due to the birth of his and his debut in boxing. Last week, UFC President Dana White hinted that the UFC will move on if Conor McGregor would not return to defend his title and in a way gave The Notorious a deadline on when his next MMA fight should be.
“As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib versus Tony and then the winner fights Conor for the title,” White told Yahoo Sports. “If Conor wants to sit out until next fall, then we’d have to make Khabib versus Tony for the title, not the interim title.”
Kavanagh is unfazed by White’s statement, saying that McGregor’s belt is not going anywhere. “Conor’s still the champion. He’s making the decision on what makes sense for the next move,” he said. He added that it is still early days and they’re looking at how things have developed while Conor was away. Nonetheless, he said that he is excited to see what’s in store for McGregor in 2018. He confirmed that the fighter has been training almost every day now and that he is getting the hang of all the things that’s been going on in his life, including things that are outside of fighting. He told BBC:
“I think 2018 will be another big year for us. Exactly what that is, I don’t know yet. The plan is forming, but as they say, stay tuned.”
In December 2017, news emerged that former eight-weight world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao was in talks with the MMA star for a boxing-rules bout. White denied any knowledge of it and even threatened to sue Pacquiao and his representatives for going behind UFC’s back given that Conor is under contract with them. His ex sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi also reportedly lobbied for a boxing-rules fight against McGregor.
McGregor also quashed the boxing fight rumors when he said, “I think a true fight is what I want to do next.” He added, “MMA next,” as reported by TMZ Sports. McGregor or UFC is yet to make any official fight announcement.