What next for UFC's Conor McGregor?

Conor McGregor (supplied)
Conor McGregor (supplied)

Cape Town - The MMA world is still buzzing over the main event of UFC 194.

More specifically, they’re still buzzing over Conor McGregor’s record breaking 13 second knockout of Jose Aldo to claim the Featherweight title, something that McGregor has been predicting for months. The big question now following that fight is, what’s next for the outspoken Irishman?

McGregor himself sees three options as being the most likely. He’ll either fight the winner of the Lightweight championship fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone, defend his title against Frankie Edgar, or have an immediate rematch with Jose Aldo according to Nick Strickland from MMALatestNews.com.

John Kavanagh, McGregor’s coach, was on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Monday and said that two of those options could become reality within months of each other. Kavanagh said that McGregor is thinking about a fight in March or April for the Lightweight title and then defending his Featherweight title against Edgar in July at UFC 200.

“I do think the next one will be lightweight for the belt, maybe that’s going to be around April. March, April — something like that. Maybe that and then July, UFC 200. Maybe he’ll defend the Featherweight belt against Frankie on that card,” said Kavanagh. 

Kavanagh also disputed a statement by Dana White that claimed he (Kavanagh) didn’t want McGregor to fight at Featherweight anymore. Kavanagh claims that he spoke with matchmaker Joe Silva and mentioned fighting at Lightweight next, but he made no mention of that move being a permanent one. He says that McGregor’s weight cut for the Aldo fight was his best one yet.

Kavanagh also brought up that the conversation with Silva about the champion’s next fight was a fairly straightforward one.

“I kind of said to him, ‘Well, what’s next?’. He kind of said, ‘Well, at this stage, it’s kind of up to you.’ …I was like, ‘I like how that sounds.'”

Many expected McGregor to wait until July and UFC 200 for his next fight. Kavanagh doesn’t believe that will happen, saying, “He’s never gonna wait until July, even if I was to suggest it or encourage it, I know it’s a pointless effort.”

UFC President Dana White said on ESPN that he would ideally like to see McGregor vacate the Featherweight title if he does move up to Lightweight and then he would “probably” have Edgar fight Aldo for the vacated belt. McGregor has other plans however. He feels that he is active enough to hold both belts simultaneously and that his goal is to do just that.

Kavanagh reiterated that idea in his talk with Helwani, even bringing up a rematch with Max Holloway as a potential future fight. “Everybody’s time will come,” he said. “Everybody will get their shot against him. People have to be a little patient, but it definitely will come.”

McGregor proved once again that he’s much more than just talk with his performance at UFC 194. So when he says he wants to fight in two weight classes and hold the belts in both the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions, fans and opponents alike should take him very, very seriously.

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