LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor isn’t ready to commit to his next fight just yet, but it doesn’t sound like he’s all that interested in a second bout with interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo right now.
It was teased numerous times ahead of McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz on Saturday night that win, lose or draw he would have to go back to defend his featherweight title against Aldo, or it would be stripped from him.
UFC president Dana White doubled down on that promise following McGregor’s win over Diaz at UFC 202, but the current king at 145-pounds just doesn’t find the rematch with Aldo all that intriguing.
“How long was I going back and forth with Jose? That must have been a two-year build up. He pulled out last minute. I continued to fight someone else. Then we rescheduled, two-year round-the-world deal with that boy and then he stepped in and I beat him in 13 seconds,” McGregor said following the close of UFC 202. “It’s hard for me to get excited about that, especially after his last performance. It was a decision, he didn’t go out and get it. He didn’t go out and get it like I wanted him to get it. So I don’t know, we’ll see.
As far as White’s leverage that McGregor either defends his belt or gives it up, the Irishman didn’t sound overly concerned about that right now either.
McGregor says handing the undisputed title back to Aldo would simply devalue the championship and put a black cloud over the entire featherweight division with a pretender holding the belt as champion.
“I don’t think they’ll do that. How can they do that? If they want to give my belt to the guy I KO’d in 13 seconds and bury that division in the prelims or the Fight Pass stuff cause that’s what they’re going to do,” McGregor said.
“We’ll see. How can they do that? What would that do to the division if the guy I KO’d in 13 seconds is the unified champion so we’ve got a lot to talk about.”
McGregor wasn’t willing to cement anything directly following his five-round war with Diaz but it’s clear he has a lot to choose from.
McGregor could easily run it back with Diaz a third time after their first fight generated some of the biggest numbers in UFC history with the rematch likely doing the same. He also has the option to go after lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to complete his goal of becoming a simultaneous two-division champion.
He also hinted that there could be something in the works outside of the Octagon as well.
“There’s a lot of options,” McGregor said. “Some might not be this sport.”
Whatever happens, McGregor seems confident that he’ll be happy with the decision that he makes about whoever he’s facing next.
“I’m in a beautiful, beautiful position right now,” McGregor said. “And that was built through hard work and I’m going to capitalize on that.”