On August 26, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor will compete in his first-ever professional boxing match. Despite his complete lack of experience in pro boxing, this fight will not see him battle some journeyman in a community center basement. Instead, he’ll battle undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a fight that is widely considered the biggest of all time.
Considering the scale of the test in front of him, you might expect McGregor to put his MMA training completely on hold to focus exclusively on boxing. Apparently, however, this has not been the case.
Speaking to BT Sport in the wake of his most recent press conference with Mayweather, McGregor admitted that he is indeed interested in a much-discussed MMA showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov after his fight with Mayweather. Apparently, competing in this fight would be as simple as brushing up on his grappling – something he’s still working on as the Mayweather fight towers on the horizon.
“I believe I’ll come out of this fight without a scratch,” McGregor said (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “[Take] a couple weeks to refresh my jiu-jitsu and my wrestling – not that I’ve stopped training that either, I’ve still kept up on that, just less – and then we’ll see what happens.”
“That’s certainly an option that I’m exploring,” McGregor continued, speaking on a potential fight with Nurmagomedov in Nurmagomedov’s native Russia. “That would be a spectacle. It’d be like something out of Rocky. I suppose this whole story is like a Rocky story, right? So why not face a man in his home country, and a crazy place like Russia. It’s certainly something I’d like to do. There’s a couple of options on the table so let’s see what unfolds.”
Do you think Conor McGregor will actually return to MMA after this ultra-lucrative collision with Floyd Mayweather, or will this be his last fight in any combat sport?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/18/2017.