Potential opponent for a grudge match is former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi, and according to bookmakers odds, the Italian-American would have the modest edge on the two-weight UFC champion at 1/2.
Malignaggi, who turns 37 in November, spent two sessions trading blows with McGregor in what was basically a full-on behind closed doors contest complete with referee, and both men have contrasting views on how things went down.
McGregor released several still images of him getting the better of Malignaggi, whilst promoter Dana White posted a short clip of ‘The Notorious’ debatably flooring the veteran with a push or punch dependent on various points of view.
Preparations for an eventual loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. were immediately followed by speculation McGregor and Malignaggi could meet in the ring, with a second professional boxing match not ruled out by the Irishman.
There’s no doubt Malignaggi would be up for prolonging his semi-retired career behind a Showtime and Sky Sports microphone in order to battle McGregor on Pay-Per-View, provided the latter decides against a return to MMA.
Several suitors are lining up for a crack at McGregor’s UFC lightweight belt, with Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee set to collide for the interim title and current number one contender Khabib Nurmagomedov waiting in the wings for a potential call for early 2018.
Any hopes McGregor had of another clash with Mayweather went up in smoke with his performance the first time around, whilst the ex-pound for pound king has no interest in agreeing to a second fight in the octagon.
That leaves a big choice to be made and Malignaggi as the obvious choice, and would give the outspoken McGregor a chance to prove odds of 6/4 against compared to 8/13 to ‘The Magic Man’ wrong by lacing up the gloves again.