John Kavanagh's latest column for the42.ie gives some interesting hints as to what might be next for his star student.
The fight game once again seems to be back in the palm of Conor McGregor's hand after his majority decision victory over Nate Diaz last weekend and, if Kavanagh gets his way, he wants to see McGregor challenge for a second belt right away.
From a personal point of view, my own preference would be a lightweight title bout against reigning champion Eddie Alvarez next. Conor can make 145lbs to defend his featherweight belt, absolutely, but I just think 155lbs suits him best. Ultimately that’s Conor’s decision, not mine.
This quote certainly won't be music to the ears of José Aldo or his coach Andre Pederneiras, both of whom have been openly campaigning for McGregor to drop back down to 145lbs and defend the championship he won from the Brazilian last December.
Eddie Alvarez, the 155lbs champion, is just one of a long list of fighters from the world of both MMA and boxing who have linked themselves with a bout with McGregor and as of now it seems likely that McGregor's next move will be one of Alvarez, Diaz or Aldo. Regardless of the name that appears on the Dubliner's next fight contract, Kavanagh will have his fighter ready.
If Conor is motivated to go back in for November, I’ll support that, but there are a lot of other factors to be weighed up. Conor and his management are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to those decisions so I’ll leave it up to them.
If indeed McGregor's next fight does face him off against Alvarez, Kavanagh predicts a short night for the American.
I would see it as a much more straightforward challenge than Diaz. If you look at Alvarez’s fight against Anthony Pettis, which is a good reference point stylistically, he won by split decision but I think he was quite fortunate. Luck was definitely on his side.
Over the course of your career, some tight decisions will go for you, others will go against you, but generally they even themselves out. While Pettis has good kicks, he doesn’t have Conor’s hands. I’d expect Alvarez to run into those hands quite often in the first couple of rounds. If and when that fight is announced, I would be leaning towards a second-round knockout in Conor’s favour.
If McGregor's next fight was indeed set for New York in November it would be a welcome relief to the travelling fans, many of whom empty their back accounts to follow The Notorious to Las Vegas. Despite the logistical difficulties involved, the UFC has flirted with the idea of holding an event in Croke Park and, as that seems to be more and more of an impossibility, a McGregor fight on the east coast of the United States would be a lot more realistic for his legion of fans.
A potential Croke Park fight for Conor seems to have returned to the agenda lately. As I’ve said many times before, it’s something I’d love to see happen. Apparently this American football game that’s coming up at the Aviva Stadium is going to be worth €50million to the local economy with the amount of people coming in.
You’d imagine that a Conor McGregor fight at Croke Park would bring in significantly more, and I doubt the economy is in a position to be turning its nose up at money like that. The build-up alone would be fantastic and it would be an amazing spectacle, so it would be great if local authorities could make an exception regarding the legislation that’s in place which puts a curfew on live events.
So while we don't quite know what's next for Conor McGregor just yet, you can guarantee that whatever he does it will be 'must see TV' - just like everything else he has done in his career.