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Diaz trilogy will probably have to wait as McGregor ponders his next move

“I have other stuff in the pipeline. S**t is about to hit the fan.”

Conor McGregor celebrates winning Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

– Paul Dollery reports from Las Vegas

IN SPITE OF fears that he may have suffered a fractured foot during his victory against Nate Diaz at the T-Mobile Arena, Conor McGregor has been cleared of any serious injuries.

McGregor, who required crutches after the fight, was taken to hospital in Las Vegas but the initial indications are that the Dubliner merely sustained bruising to his shin as a result of the many leg-kicks he landed over the five rounds of the UFC 202 main event.

“My ankle was actually a bit banged up coming into the fight,” McGregor said in the post-event press conference. “We were practicing leg-kicks in camp so it was a little bit swollen coming in, but it’s the shin. I kicked his knee clean — I think it was in the first round — and then I just kept kicking. But other than that it’s perfect.”

McGregor avenged his loss to Diaz last March by scoring a majority-decision victory last night. Both bouts were contested at welterweight, and while McGregor is interested in taking on the same opponent again, he wants the bout to take place at lightweight instead.

The 28-year-old will take a ‘never say never’ approach to competing in the 170lbs division again, while a clash with newly-crowned lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez may also be a possibility.

“I want to get my abs back,” said McGregor, the UFC featherweight title-holder. “I don’t have abs at this weight. I can’t get abs even though I’m eating good. Sometimes I feel I have a fat belly. I’m going to go down in weight. I’m the 145lbs champion. The 155lbs [title] is there.

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

“When I fight Nate again, it will be at 155lbs. It will be on my terms this time. I came up, I didn’t make any excuses or stipulations to try and get this win back. I had it exactly the way it was [in March]. He got even bigger than the first fight. He was way bigger than the last time. Over the five months he grew.

“I knew I was up against it. I thought it could be a mistake but I said, ‘Fuck it, I’ll train hard, be smart, learn from my mistakes and go in confident’. That’s what I did. I’m happy about that. I believe if we do it again, it will be at 155 — maybe for the belt. Who knows what’s next?”

But when asked if the trilogy match with Diaz will be his next fight, McGregor — who’s under pressure to defend his featherweight title — said: “Probably not. The belt situation is lingering. I’ve got to talk about what’s next because there’s a lot of options. Some might not be this sport, so we’ll see.”

As for a featherweight title defence against Jose Aldo, McGregor isn’t entirely certain that it will happen. The Irish fighter dethroned Aldo last December, but the Brazilian worked his way back into line for a rematch by defeating Frankie Edgar to win the interim title last month at UFC 200.

“How long was I going back and forth with Jose? That was a two-year build-up,” McGregor said. “He pulled out last minute and I continued to fight someone else. Then we rescheduled. A two-year build-up, around the world for that boy, and then I stepped in to beat him in 13 seconds.

“I mean, it’s hard for me to get excited about that, especially after his last performance. He didn’t go out and get it like I wanted him to. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m the 145lbs champion. The interim champion is a man that I KO’d in 13 seconds. I’ve got to figure out what’s next, but right now I don’t know what’s next. There are many things in the pipeline, so sit tight.”

Conor McGregor is declared the winner by split decision Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

UFC president Dana White said earlier this week that a featherweight title bout would be next for McGregor once his second meeting with Diaz was out of the way. If not, he’ll have to vacate the belt, the UFC boss insisted. However, McGregor has a different take on the situation.

“I don’t think they want to do that,” he said. “How can they do that? If they want to do that, are they really going to give my belt to the guy that I KO’d in 13 seconds and bury that division on the prelims? That’s what would happen.

“We’ll see. How can they do that? What would that do to the division if the guy that I KO’d in 13 seconds is the champion? We’ve got a lot to talk about, but I’m in a beautiful, beautiful position now and that was built on hard work. I’m going to capitalise on that.

“We’ll see. I have other stuff in the pipeline. Shit is about to hit the fan, I feel, so we’ll see.”

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Paul Dollery

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