Conor McGregor’s stint as a boxer has come to a close – for now. So who will “The Notorious One” be fighting against next?
All signs point to McGregor returning to the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) to defend his UFC lightweight title. Top ranked 155 pounders Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee are set to compete for the interim lightweight championship, with the winner likely to be the one to welcome the Irish knockout artist back to the Octagon.
While McGregor’s next appearance has yet to be confirmed, his striking coach, Owen Roddy, recently joined The MMA Hour to give his two cents on who he’d like to see his fighter take on next. If it were up to Roddy, he said he like to see the rivalry between McGregor and Diaz to come full circle in their highly-anticipated trilogy bout (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I would probably like to see Diaz 3, but obviously you’ve got (Tony) Ferguson and (Kevin) Lee fighting for the interim belt,” he said. “If he’s to fight MMA again, it will probably have to be the winner of (Ferguson versus Lee).
“In my opinion, the reason I say Diaz is because those fights are so exciting. The build up is so exciting; the back and forth…there is nothing like it. It’s just a mad scene.
“The two fights against Diaz were probably the most exciting camps that I’ve been part of. To do that again would be unbelievable. As I see it, the fans would like that over everything else.”
While MMA may seem like the likely road for McGregor, there’s still the possibility he returns to the boxing ring. If McGregor does return to the UFC, Diaz would be his likely opponent, however, in a boxing return Roddy claims he has heard rumblings of McGregor possibly stepping in to fight Jeff Horn who was recently left opponentless after Manny Pacquiao was forced out of their scheduled Australia bout:
“If I was to pick MMA, I would definitely like to see the Diaz fight. Boxing, who knows?” he pondered.
“I saw today that there was talk about him fighting in Australia against the lad that beat (Manny) Pacquiao, Jeff Horn. Who knows? It’s an unbelievable spectacle whatever Conor does, so I don’t know.
“I like the idea of the Diaz fight, but I’m sure if it doesn’t happen next, I’m sure it’s down the line.”
Interestingly enough, Roddy didn’t bring up the name Paulie Malignaggi as a possible opponent for McGregor in boxing. When this was mentioned Roddy showed virtually no interest in the fight, claiming to have seen McGregor do ‘easy work’ on the former two weight world champion in sparring already:
“I saw that already…I saw that twice,” he said, laughing. “It was easy work.”
McGregor comes fresh off an August 26th TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather in the 10th round of their boxing fight. There has been speculation that McGregor could fight once again before the end of 2017, but Roddy could neither confirm or deny that:
“I’d like to think so, but who knows? I can speak when I’m told, ‘we’re about to sign on this’, or ‘we’re about to sign on that’, so until I see that I can’t really comment.
“For me, I’d like to see him fighting as often as he likes to fight because it’s just an unbelievable adventure. I’m happy to go wherever he wants to go and I’m to do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to take time off he takes time off, if he wants to go again we’ll go again.
“I’ve always been behind Conor in whatever decisions he makes, and I’ll be behind him for the next one, most definitely.”