Given the amount of money he made from his Aug. 26 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, many were skeptical of whether or not UFC lightweight champion would ever return to mixed martial arts.
After scoring a brutal stoppage victory over Eddie Alvarez last November at UFC 205 to win the 155-pound strap, McGregor campaigned for and eventually landed a fight with Mayweather. Prior to the fight, he assured media members and fans that he would continue to fight after the bout.
Now a few months removed from his TKO loss to “Money”, McGregor seems to be sharing that same sentiment.
“I’m 29 years of age and I have climbed to the very, very, very top and with…not with relative ease…I’ve put in a lot of hard work,” McGregor recently told Ryan Tubridy on an edition of The Late Late Show. “I’ve put in crazy amounts of hard work and most people do not see the wars upon wars in the gym just to get to the fight. I’ve gone through strenuous camp, after camp, after camp, but still – compared to other people in the fight game – I’m still relatively undamaged.”
McGregor is well aware of how dangerous the fight game is, and he’s always made it clear that his primary goal was to make the most money possible, while exiting the sport relatively unscathed. From a financial standpoint, the Irishman is undoubtedly set for life, but the fact that he’s taken minimal damage seems to be a factor in his decision to continue competing.
“I’ve never been dropped. I was wobbled once. In the Mayweather fight, it was fatigue – I wasn’t wobbled, I didn’t see stars once,” he said. “The only time I was ever wobbled once in a contest was in the Diaz 1 fight. And that’s it…it’s the only heavy shot I’ve ever taken. “I’ve continued to climb and I’m still very young in the game. Although I’ve climbed to the top, I’m still very young from a damage-taking standpoint, so I will continue to see where it goes.”
The “Notorious” one may have a point here. As he mentioned, aside from his clashes with Diaz, and perhaps his fight with Mayweather, he’s been relatively dominant throughout his fighting career. Because of that, he confirmed that he will ‘most certainly compete again for the next couple of years’.
“I have multiple titles in the UFC,” McGregor said. “I have multiple contenders that are clawing at the top trying to get at me, so we’re in negotiation stages and we will see where we go. I will most certainly compete again for the next couple of years anyway and then I’ll see where it is.”
Originally, McGregor had expressed interest in fighting Mayweather and then returning to mixed martial arts at UFC 219, which is slated for Dec. 30, 2017 in Las Vegas. It’s unlikely that that will be the case, but it does appear that he’ll fight again early next year.
When he does indeed return to the Octagon, it’s expected that he’ll defend his lightweight title against interim champion Tony Ferguson, but nothing has been made official just yet.