According to his coach, John Kavanagh, clashes with retired duo Paulie Malignaggi [36(7)-8(5)] and Floyd Mayweather [50(27)-0] are options moving forward.
The 30-year-old returned to the world of MMA last weekend after his brief excursion into boxing only to lose in his world title challenge of Khabib Nurmagomedov, tapping out in the fourth round of their UFC lightweight [155lbs] title fight.
The fighter himself was calling for a rematch within minutes of the defeat – but his long time coach, Kavanagh, who used Paschal Collins for boxing advice ahead of the Floyd Mayweather bout, claims boxing offers are on the table.
“There are all sorts of crazy rumours going around the management team and the fight team about what might happen next,” Kavanagh told the Joe Rogan Experience MMA podcast.
“It could be boxing, it could be him [Malignaggi], it could be Floyd.”
“All sorts of names are being thrown about.”
A rematch with ‘Money’ has been mooted on more than one occassion, but another ‘event’-like bout may not appeal considering the one-sided nature of their first fight.
The Crumlin fighter was stopped on his feet in the tenth round of their Las Vegas-hosted money fight last year.
A compromised rules bout – in an octagon with leg kicks but no grappling or takedowns – has been suggested and Kavanagh claims is currently being discussed but would seem hugely unlikely considering Mayweather’s safety-first approach.
The Paulie Malignaggi fight may be that bit more attractive as there is a fresh element to it and, with suggestions McGregor performed well against the former world champ turned top pundit in sparring, it could be sold as a closer fight.
Indeed, Kavanagh claims that footage of the full twelve rounds of their sparring – which included an infamous knockdown/pushdown for McGregor – will be released as part of a Netflix documentary shortly which is sure to stir the pot.
With UFC looking to work their way into boxing, a fight with the ‘Magic Man’ might look to be the better of the two options for them.
Theoretically, Dana White and company could promote the fight rather having to fight under the Mayweather Promotions and Showtime banner.
Regarding a fight with 37-year-old Malignaggi, Kavanagh revealed that “it’s not out of the realms of possibility, it’s absolutely not out of the realms of possibility.”
The New Yorker, who had suggested a fight with McGregor in New York on St Patrick’s Weekend just gone, has been outspoken in his dislike of the Dubliner ever since their shared sparring.
Following McGregor’s loss to Nurmagomedov, ‘The Magic Man’ chided ‘The Notorious’.
— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) October 7, 2018
While most hard-nosed fight fans wouldn’t take issue with the world-known Irish star converting to boxing once against, they will roll their eyes at the idea of both fights.
However, both would sell regardless, would most likely provide a massive platform for some punchers to stand out on the undercard, and would bring more eyes to the sport.
That said, it would seem likely that McGregor will remain in the sport of mixed martial arts, with rematches with both Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz in the offing.
Listen to John Kavanagh on the Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show below: