Conor McGregor unlikely to fight again in 2018 as UFC confirm another massive fight
'Coach' has made an intriguing suggestion for McGregor's next fight in the UFC.
John Kavanagh admitted, on his recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, that Conor McGregor has reached a stage where he may only fight 'once or twice' a year in the UFC.
As much as Dana White, Ari Emmanuel and the rest of the UFC brass would like him to fight more often, given his 23-month hiatus, they will take what they can get of 'The Notorious'.
McGregor's UFC 229 return, in which he lost the lightweight title fight to Khabib Nurmagomedov, has been credited with 2.4 million pay-per-view buys. That shot to the top of the PPV list (the next closest is McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II at 1.6m) and means the Dubliner is primarily responsible for 5 of the top 6 PPVs in UFC history.
All well and good for McGregor but he will be determined to avenge that loss to Nurmagomedov and has already been calling for the rematch.
'The Eagle' is threatening to walk away from the UFC and has already posted, on social media, that he would consider switches to Bellator and even the WWE. He is also likely to cop a suspension after his decision to vault The Octagon and start a brawl in the crowd, and with Dillon Danis.
McGregor followed up his UFC 196 loss to Diaz by defeating him five months later and then taking Eddie Alvarez' 155lbs title off him three months after that. He rapidly righted some wrongs.
The 30-year-old is unlikely to fight again this year, however. After much hand-wringing, debate and negotiations, the UFC has lined up some cracking PPV cards for the final weeks of the year.
On Friday, the promotion confirmed a champion versus champion fight between Cris 'Cyborg' Justino and Amanda Nunes:
🏆 Champion vs. 🏆 Champion@CrisCyborg meets @Amanda_Leoa for the featherweight title in Las Vegas. #UFC232 pic.twitter.com/pqNpD9p2iH
— UFC (@ufc) October 12, 2018
With Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis now headlining UFC 230 and Valentina Shevchenko now taking on Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231, rather than facing the unheralded Sijara Eubanks.
Five big fights heading three big cards for the rest of the year:
How's the rest of the year looking 😎#UFC230
🏆 🇺🇸 🏆 @DC_MMA vs 🇺🇸 @TheBeast_UFC#UFC231
🇰🇬 @BulletValentina vs 🇵🇱 @JoannaMMA
🏆 🇺🇸 @BlessedMMA vs 🇺🇸 @BrianTCity #UFC232
🏆 🇧🇷 @CrisCyborg vs 🏆 🇧🇷 @Amanda_Leoa
🇺🇸 @JonnyBones vs 🇸🇪 @AlexTheMauler 2 pic.twitter.com/dbaZ7NZRqT
— UFC (@ufc) October 12, 2018
Kavanagh has a novel venue idea for McGregor's next fight - Madison Square Garden on March 16, St Patrick's weekend.
It was a suggestion that certainly raised Rogan's eyebrows, and interest. Kavanagh said:
"It's funny, I was looking at the dates at March 16th is a Saturday, on the Paddy's Day weekend. Imagine MSG on the Saturday night before Paddy's Day. That would be insane."
"My God!" Rogan exclaimed. The Manhattan venue is often booked up months in advance so the UFC commentator mentioned Boston's TD Gardens as another option.
To date, MSG has just been used once a year but McGregor signing up for a bout there would see huge numbers flock to New York. Rogan added:
"Another huge fight would be Diaz III... the history between those guys is huge.
Rogan added, "The thing about Diaz, the first time, is that he didn't give a f**k about the trash talk. He was like, 'Oh, we're doing this?' It was amazing.'
July fight week is 'probably more realistic', according to Kavanagh, but he is hopeful Nurmagomedov won't be banned so a rematch can happen much sooner than that.