It looks like Conor McGregor has made a decision about his next fight.
The charismatic superstar from Ireland is finally ready to make his return to the Octagon after spending the majority of 2017 embroiled in negotiations and then later preparing for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather.
With that fight now in the rear view mirror, McGregor seems prepared to resume his career in the UFC where he is currently the reigning lightweight champion.
Because McGregor is far and away the biggest draw on the UFC roster, he has a lot of say in whoever he faces next but it appears that unifying the lightweight title with interim champion Tony Ferguson is the first item on his agenda.
“I’ve got everyone clawing at me, trying to get at me. That’s from multiple sports, multiple organizations, multiple everything. It’s been like that for a long, long time I feel. It’s just another day for me,” McGregor explained when speaking to Entertainment.ie.
“I know there are many contenders in the UFC. There are many boxing contenders as well. What interests me is certainly a UFC bout, certainly a defense of my lightweight title. There is a fighter [Tony Ferguson] with the interim lightweight belt. I feel that will be next. We’ll see how negotiations go.”
Of course, McGregor will have a ton of options after the fight with Ferguson is finished including a trilogy with longtime rival Nate Diaz after they split a pair of bouts in 2016.
At first glance, McGregor’s return fight against Diaz seemed almost inevitable but Ferguson being crowned interim champion apparently changed the Irishman’s plans when plotting his UFC return.
McGregor knows that Diaz will still be there after he faces Ferguson and at this point in his career, the 29-year old champion can safely assume anybody he meets will be a hugely lucrative fight for himself and the UFC>
“The [Nate] Diaz trilogy is also there. I can defend my belt against Nate. Maybe we can persuade one of these boxing opponents to step into the Octagon or there’s also boxing belts as well. There’s so many options,” McGregor said.
“I feel to legitimize the belt — there’s an interim champion, I’m the unified champion — I feel that will be next. We are currently in contract negotiations and we’ll see where it goes.”
UFC president Dana White has continuously teased that McGregor wants to fight again before the end of 2017 and the promotion still needs a main event for the final card of the year on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
That card is now only eight weeks away so it’s tough to imagine McGregor inking a bout agreement to return so soon but then again it’s nearly impossible to predict what he’ll do until the deed is already done.