Wednesday 21 February 2018

John Kavanagh targets St. Patrick's Day date in New York for Conor McGregor's next fight

Jack O'Toole

Conor McGregor's head coach John Kavanagh has targeted March 17th at Madison Square Garden in New York as a possible date for the UFC Lightweight champion's next fight.

Reports last month suggested that McGregor had booked a comeback bout with Nate Diaz that was initially scheduled for December 30th at UFC 219.

According to leading MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, that fight and date is still the plan for all parties concerned but that any deal suggested is still far from being finalised.

Kavanagh hinted at an alternative date of March 17th on a recent appearance on The Late Late Show.

"We're already talking about 2018 and some fights in 2018," said Kavanagh.

"I'm looking forward to getting him back in the gym and back into the rigmarole of training. I think that's best for him.

"I keep saying it out there - so hopefully it becomes a reality - but I would love Madison Square Garden, St. Patrick's Day, New York, for a Conor fight in the UFC."

McGregor last fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas during the summer and the Dubliner recently hinted at a number of options for his next fight at a black tie event in Glasgow last month.

“I’m sitting on a loss in my mind, so I’m just seeing what options are there,” McGregor told Caroline Pearce at An Evening with Conor McGregor at Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo venue.

"There’s an interim belt on the line right now – that’s an option. Of course the Nate Diaz trilogy fight is there. Maybe one of these boxing guys, maybe 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.”

McGregor has four fights left on his current deal with the UFC but he insisted after his win over Eddie Alvarez last year that the UFC brass needed to come talk to him about an equity stake before he fights again in the promotion.

“No one has talked to me since the sale happened,” said McGregor following WME-IMG’s €3.54 billion purchase of the UFC last year.

“As a businessman, no one has approached (me yet), but I’ve earned something.

“Who owns the company now? There’s people who have shares in the company, celebrities — Conan O’Brien owns the UFC nowadays. So where’s my share? Where’s my equity?”

“If I’m the one that’s bringing this, they’ve got to come talk to me now. That’s all I know. I’ve got both belts, a chunk of money, and a little family on the way.

“If you want me to stick around, if you want me to keep doing what I’m doing, let’s talk. But I want ownership now. I want equal share. I want what I deserve.”

McGregor will most likely want the issue to be resolved before any potential return to the octagon.

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