Conor McGregor is the biggest draw in combat sports, but has never defended either of his UFC belts. In September he was asked to discuss possible next opponents and named eight. With the loss of Kevin Lee to Tony Ferguson, the number dropped to seven. Then it apparently dropped to two – a title unification fight with Interim champ Tony Ferguson or a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz.
Now in an interview with Entertainment.ie’s Mike Sheridan, McGregor focused in on just one. Although he never mentioned his name, it’s a unification fight with Tony Ferguson.
“I’ve got everyone clawing at me, trying to get at me, and that’s from multiple sports, multiple organizations, multiple everything,” said McGregor, as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “It’s been like that for a long, long time, I feel, so it’s just another day for me. 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 with the interim lightweight belt. I feel that will be next. We’ll see how negotiations go.”
“The 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 bouts as well. So, there’s so many options. 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.”
McGregor hasn’t fought in the Octagon since knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on November 12, 2016. At the time, he named two conditions to a UFC return. One, he wanted to wait for the birth of his son; Conor Jack McGregor Jr., was born on May 5, 2017. And two, he wanted equity in the UFC; president Dana White said he welcomes that conversation. So that’s what the negotiations are about.