The consensus is that Conor McGregor’s next fight will have to deliver a huge payday, in order for him to take it, but the star’s made comments that distance himself from that narrative…somewhat.
Following McGregor’s August 26th boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, which he lost via stoppage, the MMA world’s debated at length what’s next for “Notorious”. Since McGregor made a bazillion dollars for his bout with Mayweather, and because he’s talked about needing to be a UFC partner moving forward, the belief is that only huge bouts will peak his interest. Thus, this has led some to conclude that the UFC lightweight champ would be more likely to take a rubber match with Nate Diaz, then face Tony Ferguson.
Well, recently the 29 year-old spoke with Sky Sports. While doing so, McGregor was asked about how long he plans to fight, and the outspoken fighter said this (quotes via MMA Mania):
“I always look at the end from a damage-taken standpoint,” McGregor said. “How much damage have I taken? How is my brain? How is my mental health? How is my physical body? How is my training? How is my preparation? How is my hunger for it?
“That is where I gauge how long I will do it and there is still a lot left in me.”
“It is not necessarily a money thing for me,” McGregor added. “I am passionate about fighting. Fighting is what I love to do. I will continue to do it as long as I am healthy and willing to put in the work that it takes to do.
So, based off these comments, it certainly doesn’t sound like McGregor’s thinking about hanging up the gloves anytime soon. McGregor took some hard shots in his bouts with Diaz, and Mayweather landed some decent punches as well, but it’s not like he’s been getting bombed out.
In terms of his next fight, McGregor has talked about the need to legitimize his reign as the lightweight champ in recent weeks. So, those comments, coupled with his words here about money, might lead some to conclude that he understands his next fight should be against the likes of Ferguson.