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25th Apr 2017

Two UFC fights may tempt Conor McGregor back and it’s not hard to see why

"That creates a narrative"

Patrick McCarry

Audie Attar believes Conor McGregor’s chances of boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. before the year is out lie someone around the ’50-yard line’ but he has never known Mystic Mac to not get his way.

McGregor told fans, earlier this year at ‘An Experience with… ‘, that his next fight would be in a boxing ring and that the undefeated Mayweather was his No.1 target. Much has changed from that statement, including UFC president Dana White coming on board with the idea and figures of $175m being thrown around for both fighters to squabble over.

Nothing is confirmed, though, until it is confirmed. That is perhaps why Audie Attar, McGregor’s manager, has been so reluctant to speculate on the ins and outs of such a contest.

Attar was a guest on The MMA Hour on Monday and while he confirmed he was sitting with the UFC on one side of the negotiating table, he would not be drawn on prospective dates, undercards or splitting of fight purses.

Host Ariel Helwani did glean, however, that a couple of UFC title fights may yet tempt McGregor back into the Octagon. He said:

“I foresee Conor definitely challenging himself. So, in the future, see how this José Aldo, Max Holloway [featherweight] title fight plays out. There’s some other fights in the 155 [pound] division. Rematches are always interesting. We’ll see.

“With him, he goes by whatever he wants to challenge himself with.”

Going back to that potential rematch, Attar then outlined why it would make complete sense for Nate Diaz, who split two fights with McGregor, to take on No.1 lightweight contender Tony Ferguson for an interim title this summer.

Attar would still like to see Ferguson take on Khabib Nurmagomedov but neither he or ‘El Cucuy’ are keen to wait until September. Attar said:

“The Nate Diaz fight interests him because, right now, Nate is sitting on the sidelines and you’ve got to get Conor excited.

“If you want to get Conor excited about you, you got to go in there and fight if you want to fight him in the future. So Nate-Tony for the interim title, that creates a narrative.

“So if Nate really things he’s worthy of it [a McGregor trilogy fight] he, A, gets to fight for a title and, B, one of those two guys is going to come out victorious and they want to make Conor excited.”

Ferguson wants to fight in July but coaxing Diaz back may prove tougher than anything Mayweather and McGregor’s negotiating teams are going through.

Right now, it seems like both divisions need to move on and generate some interest without McGregor. Only then might we see the ‘champ champ’ return to set them right.