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Career options aplenty for McGregor in 2017 after two-weight success at UFC 205

Lee Gormley | 10 January 2017

Career options aplenty for McGregor in 2017

Following a rollercoaster 12 months which was capped off with a historic lightweight title success over Eddie Alvarez in New York City, UFC superstar Conor McGregor has seen his stock rocket and has no shortage of career options in 2017.

Conor McGregor has plenty of career options in 2017 after his UFC 205 success.

Conor McGregor has plenty of career options in 2017 after his UFC 205 success.

The Irishman has become arguably the most recognisable and distinguished athlete in sport with his impressive feats inside the octagon and entertaining actions outside of it, helping MMA gain more widescale popularity with his exploits.

After that clinical display at Madison Square Garden when dispatching former 155lbs champion Alvarez to become the UFC’s first ever simultaneous two-weight world titlist, McGregor is now staring down a host of possibilities.

‘The Notorious’ has become the face of the UFC and could once again take to the octagon early in 2017 before his first child is born, though he also has an abundance of other possible pursuits awaiting. So what’s next for the Dubliner?

Boxing in McGregor’s sights?

Despite being the biggest star of the UFC, McGregor has been recently talking up the prospect of swapping the octagon for the ring and making a switch of sports, having previously been granted an official boxing license in California.

Far from being content as a two-weight world champion in his own sport, the 28-year-old has boxing in his sights and there has been plenty of early trash talk and build-up to a potential crossover bout with Floyd Mayweather.

Could McGregor make a switch to boxing and come up against Mayweather?

Could McGregor make a switch to boxing and come up against Mayweather?

“I can go and conquer the boxing scene as well, that’s a very serious thought, a very serious conversation that is happening so we’ll see,” stated McGregor, who is 9/1 with Coral to hand Mayweather his maiden career defeat.

“I mean we’ll see what happens. Of course, I’ve got the boxing licence, his last pay-per-view was 350,000 buys and it was a flop, the fight was a dud.

“His last two fights have been duds so I certainly don’t need him, I can pick some local schmuck and still do big numbers so that is where I’m at.”

“It is the fight we all want to happen…”

Five-division world champion Mayweather retired after his comfortable decision success over Andre Berto in September 2015 but has been fuelling speculation regarding a massive money fight with McGregor in recent weeks.

The undefeated boxing great would be an obvious odds-on 1/25 favourite to prevail, and it’s a match-up that McGregor knows the fans want to see, as well as himself in the near future.

A fight with Mayweather was laughed at previously but such a bout looks very possible now.

A fight with Mayweather was laughed at previously but such a bout looks very possible now.

“Of course the Floyd fight is the fight people want to see, it is the fight we all want to happen but we’ll see, these things take time,” he continued.

“I’ve got those wrestling guys trying to contact me as well. Hollywood are trying to contact me, I’ve got so many options.”

The Irishman showed some discontent with the lack of contact from the new UFC owners and his constant talk of moving across to boxing could also be a way of forcing their hands early in 2017, having outlined intentions of gaining an ownership stake in the organisation.

Potential next UFC outings

With much of the recent news having involved McGregor with boxing, UFC fans will be keen to see him return to the octagon swiftly instead.

Back in his own stomping ground the reigning UFC lightweight champion has a host of options too, with Khabib Nurmagomedov having been relentlessly pursuing a title shot and Tyron Woodley hinting at a welterweight meeting. Meanwhile Nate Diaz is still waiting in the wings to complete a trilogy with ‘the Notorious’.

McGregor is set for another huge year in 2017.

McGregor is set for another huge year in 2017.

A showdown with unbeaten grappling master Nurmagomedov would represent a massive threat to McGregor but, if such a scrap was to take place in the former’s homeland of Russia, it could also see the Irishman grow his already mammoth reputation further abroad.

With McGregor having avenged his initial loss to Diaz in 2016 too before moving back down to lightweight, a third and decisive clash between the pair is possibly the most lucrative encounter to stage in 2017. A touted welterweight title shot against Woodley is seemingly too sizeable a task, though, at a much higher 170lbs.

McGregor’s achievements in New York will be forever remembered as his crowning glory on a night he cemented his UFC legacy, as well as that famous quickfire Jose Aldo knockout, but he for sure has plenty more massive fight nights ahead in 2017.

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