Conor McGregor says his next fight is most likely to be back in the octagon as the UFC lightweight champion dredges through several options open to him.
‘The Notorious’ was halted late on by Floyd Mayweather in his boxing debut last August, but largely gained credit for starting well before taking punishment when ultimately running out of steam.
McGregor has a mandatory challenger to his UFC belt, but could also opt to offer ex-sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi the opportunity on the back of their well-publicised grudge sessions.
Nate Diaz, with whom McGregor is one-all after two high-profile Pay-Per-View clashes, is the obvious selection for the 28 year-old should he secure a return to his natural code and seek to maximise his revenue – as expected.
“There’s an interim belt on the line right now, that’s an option,” McGregor told MMAFighting.com. “Of course, the Nate Diaz trilogy fight is there.
“Maybe one of these boxing guys. Maybe (two-weight world boxing champion, Paulie) Malignaggi would come over and do an MMA bout.
“(Also) Maybe I could entice Floyd back. We could either do a rematch in boxing or, like he said originally, we’ll do an MMA fight next.
“They are the options that are on the table for me right now,” he added.
It’s hugely doubtful a second fight with Mayweather could happen due to the one-sided nature of the first meeting, although there is merit and intrigue with McGregor facing Malignaggi.
The pair have massive dislike for each other, having originally buried the hatchet before they traded blows, but getting anywhere near the 4.4m PPV buys of his first boxing match would be nigh on impossible for McGregor to replicate.