UFC superstar Conor McGregor has reportedly been granted a boxing licence in California, as speculation of a possible match-up with Floyd Mayweather continues to rage.
The Irishman made history this month when he became the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously with a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez to claim the the lightweight title.
The 28-year-old didn't hold them for long, however, as he vacated his featherweight crown this week. The belt was given to interim holder Jose Aldo, whom he beat in a 13-second KO in December last year.
Now the mixed martial artist could be headed for the boxing ring.
"He got a licence today and a federal ID," California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster told MMAFighting.com. "He's a California boxer now.
"I'd love to see him fight in California," Mr Foster said. "It just needs to be the right opponent. Certainly a high-level opponent. We're happy to license him."
The news will fuel rumours of a potential fight between McGregor and boxing great Mayweather.
"If the odds were good enough, I’d put a few quid on it for next year," McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh said this week.
“I’m not breaking any news saying that there’s conversations going back and forth for the last year or so.
"Is it getting any close? I don’t know, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me that it’s going to happen."
The two have already sparred through the media over the past year.
McGregor said recently he wanted $100 million to take on Mayweather in the boxing ring. "He wants it under boxing rules. He wants a boxing match. He doesn't want a fight," McGregor told the crowd at a club appearance, according to TMZ Sports.
"Tell Floyd and Showtime, I'm coming. Tell him to go to them Showtime offices. I want $100 million cash to fight you under boxing rules cause he's afraid of a real fight."
Mayweather, meanwhile, has called the comparisons between him and McGregor "disrespectful".
"I'm an elephant, elephant don't beef with ants. Elephant is so large, he don't even see ants," Mayweather said.
Jose Aldo has branded Conor McGregor a coward who was never the real featherweight champion, despite getting knocked out after just 13 seconds by the Irishman in December last year.
How great is Conor McGregor? There are two different ways of posing the question. People who stress the second word are asking a rhetorical question to which the answer is 'very great indeed, the greatest thing in the world'. Those who stress the first word tend to be more sceptical, and might even answer, 'Not great at all'.
Madison Square Garden in downtown Manhattan is one of the great sporting arenas in the US. It's here where the basketball superstars of the New York Knicks ply their trade and it's here, too, where some of the most iconic fights in boxing history have been staged.
Perhaps it was the photograph of Donald Trump in the Oval Office, alongside Barack Obama, wearing the expression of a man trying to explain string theory to an actual string. Or the news headlines, bleeding into each other like watercolours: “President Trump will today announce…”; “President Trump yesterday appointed…”. This is not a vivid cheese daydream. This is actually happening.