CONOR McGregor has given his first interview since losing to Floyd Mayweather, spelling out a mind-boggling raft of possibilities for his next fight.
According to the UFC megastar, he could chase a rematch with Floyd Mayweather; fight estranged sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi; or pursue a UFC match against interim title contenders Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, old foe Nate Diaz, big-hitting Justin Gaethje or the unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia.
He showed little interest in a superfight against Georges St-Pierre, tipping the welterweight icon to get “whooped” by middleweight champion Michael Bisping in his comeback after four years, while insisting he was intent on finally defending his lightweight belt.
The interview was with Caroline Pearce at An Evening with Conor McGregor in Glasgow - here’s some of what was said.
“What’s sickening me is that the little motherf***er is retired now.
“I know if I went another go with him, under boxing rules, I’d get that win. I know that. I know by the feeling of him in the first fight.
“He had to change his whole approach. He fought completely different than he ever fought. He couldn’t figure out what I was doing early on.
“With the lessons I learned from that first fight, if I had another go now, I’d get him. At the same time, he’s 50-0 and he’s getting on, I’m not gonna start calling him out. I’m happy to see a fighter (do well).
“I got beat. I got beat under that rule set. I’m not going to start giving off like that. I accepted the rules, and I was beat in the rules.
“Make no mistake, every time I took his back in that f***ing fight and the referee separated us, in a real fight it’s done right there. That was the part for me that I had to get over the most.
“I almost feel like I sold myself out. I put so many skills and so many shots in my back pocket for a pay cheque and big event and that’s been messing with my head a little bit.
“Let’s see how he handles this round of money. I might get the phone call again and we may do it again. Originally, he said an MMA fight next. He was talking about an MMA fight next.
“That’s what he said before the fight. So, what’s he going to do? Does he want another fight? In my head I’m thinking, get one of these boxing guys to come over into my world now.
“Fair play to him, it’s some purchase, a $26 million mansion.
“I’m thinking, the tax bill of this last fight, the tax bill off his previous bill, and then his good investments, I think I could be getting a call anytime soon to go again and I f***ing want to.”
“Maybe Malignaggi would come over and do an MMA bout ... or Floyd, maybe I could entice Floyd back.
“We could either do a rematch in boxing, or like he [Mayweather] said originally, we’ll do an MMA fight next. They are the options that are on the table for me right now.”