UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor said Friday he's weighing a variety of different options for his next fight after a knockout loss against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his first career boxing match last month.
Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting passed along comments from the outspoken Irishman about the possibilities beyond taking on the winner of the interim title bout between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.
"An option; there's an interim belt on the line right now—that's an option," McGregor said. "Of course the Nate Diaz trilogy fight is there. Maybe one of these boxing guys…maybe [Paulie] Malignaggi would come over and do an MMA bout…or Floyd, maybe I could entice Floyd back. We could either do a rematch in boxing, or like he said originally, we'll do an MMA fight next. They are the options that are on the table for me right now."
He's also confident he could beat Mayweather in a rematch, per Carroll.
McGregor drew praise for lasting into the 10th round against one of the best boxers in history. While it was an impressive showing for his first boxing appearance, his more experienced counterpart never appeared remotely in danger throughout the bout.
Mayweather, one of the greatest defenders to step inside the ring, ensured the powerful MMA superstar never had a chance to land significant combinations. The Notorious proceeded to wear down in the latter rounds and the undefeated American finished with a flurry to reach 50-0.
Martin Rogers of USA Today noted after the Aug. 26 fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas that Mayweather confirmed he was heading into retirement after the win.
"This was my last fight tonight," he said. "For sure. Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with."
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White said he was "proud" of McGregor but wanted him back in the Octagon moving forward.
"I would rather he did not [box again]," White told reporters. "This isn't what he does. He's a mixed martial artist, he's better when he uses all of his weapons. I think he did great tonight but I want to see him back in the UFC. I'm ready to get back to the UFC. I was back there with him and we're not talking about fighting tonight. When he's ready he'll let me know."
All told, a return to MMA is the most likely outcome for McGregor. A grudge match with Diaz, who beat him at UFC 196 before the former featherweight champ turned the tables at UFC 202, would have the most mainstream appeal among the available options.