Saturday 3 December 2016

McGregor refuses to rule out move from octagon to Oireachtas

Joe Callaghan in Las Vegas

Published 03/03/2016 | 07:16

He has more pressing matters on his hands for now but Conor McGregor has refused to rule out a switch from the octagon to the Oireachtas and a move into Irish politics when his mixed martial arts career comes to an end.

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The UFC's featherweight world champion returns to the octagon for the first time in 2016 with a move up to welterweight to face Nate Diaz in Las Vegas this weekend. Rarely out of the spotlight in the past 18 months as he blazed a trail through the mixed martial arts world, McGregor was instead in the political headlines last weekend for making his mark on the general election back home.

One voter in the Dublin West constituency eschewed the likes of Joan Burton and Ruth Coppinger and instead tried to make McGregor a write-in candidate atop the ballot paper. The result was obviously a spoiled vote but the move caught the attention of the 27-year-old, who has already proven himself a shrewd operator when it comes to the delicate political landscape of the UFC.

"I got a great laugh when someone put my name in for it," he said in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. "I would love to do something to help my people but I wouldn't go into it as a publicity type thing.

"Some people have done that, your man, whatever his name is. If you can't truly help the people, then I wouldn't do it. That's down the line maybe."

McGregor's stunning successes have seen his appeal spread far and wide beyond the octagon, becoming a darling of the late night talk show circuit Stateside. While politics may be a consideration way down the line, in the much more room immediate future a dalliance with Hollywood has been mooted. For now he agreed that the only thing that he is focusing on is the fight game.

"I think so, I don't have any real passion for show business but as one thing dies down, another thing rises so who knows," said McGregor, who has been linked with a number of action roles, including an upcoming sequel of the Vin Diesel XXX series. "There was a time when I was obsessed with football, that was many, many years ago and now its the fight business for me. Who knows done the line, show business, politics..."

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