Conor McGregor erased any doubt that a boxing match between he and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a real possibility when he appeared on stage in front of a packed house at Event City in Manchester on Saturday night.
The UFC lightweight champion said on multiple occasions during his heavily publicised interview with Ariel Helwani, which was streamed live on Pay-per-view, that the cross codes super-fight is the one that he is chasing.
“I believe the next time I step into the combat arena it will be through the ropes wearing 10 or 8 ounce gloves,” said McGregor, adding that he thinks the bout will happen in late 2017 or early 2018.
This is, of course, massive news. But if we read between the lines, it also means that McGregor’s UFC hiatus might last much longer than expected. Perhaps close to two years.
However, ‘The Notorious’ one also assured MMA fans that he will eventually return to the octagon, even if he does earn a monstrous payday opposite one of boxing’s greats.
He spoke about options at featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, as well as bouts with Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre.
His old foe Nate Diaz’s name also came up.
While McGregor stated without a hint of doubt in his voice that he and the Stockton savage will complete their trilogy one day, the Dubliner did express disappointment in his two-time opponent over the way he handled a now infamous Skype call with Floyd Mayweather several weeks ago.
According to McGregor, Nate allowed Floyd to manipulate him during that call. Instead of taking the opportunity to launch himself back into the spotlight and the conversation about who will face the SBG representative next, Nate furthered Mayweather’s agenda.
Now, says the 28-year-old Pay-per-view star, Diaz has been dropped to the back of the queue.
“Nate’s a bitch,” started McGregor. “I had the biggest respect for Nate and I still have big respect for [Nate’s older brother] Nick, he’s out there doing his thing. But when [Nate] took that video call off Floyd Mayweather and was like, ‘Hello Floyd’s fans’ – he was Floyd’s bitch that night. I was like, ‘You fucking pussy. You absolute pussy.'”
“When Floyd was saying, ‘You made McGregor tap out’ and [Nate] was like, ‘Yeah I did’ and Floyd was saying, ‘I’m going to finish the job’, [Nate] should have been like, ‘Shut your fucking mouth, I’ll strangle you too’ and posted that everywhere. Then all of a sudden it would have been like, ‘Fuck Floyd’ and it would have been me and Nate again. But he was Floyd’s bitch that night, he was Floyd’s employee that night. So fuck Nate, fuck Nick, fuck the Diaz brothers and if you want to be down with the Diaz brothers, then fuck you too.”
“[Nate] took a hell of a lot of smacks that night [at UFC 202]. His face droops to the left. Look at him. Look at him real close – his face droops to the left now. You don’t take those left hammers all night and come back normal. He was not normal on that phone call [with Mayweather].”
“If his team are wise, they will talk him out of [a third fight]. They’ll say, ‘You’ve made some money, your face is drooping to the left, your speech is slurred, chill now, enjoy the money’ but they are not the most intelligent people, so I’m sure me and Nate will go again.”