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Manager: Conor McGregor wants Nate Diaz trilogy, but Ferguson, Lee, Khabib and Holloway options

LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor won’t be taking a departure from the combat sports scene following his loss to Floyd Mayweather in “The Money Fight” on Saturday.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing), who suffered a 10th-round TKO loss to Mayweather (50-0 boxing) in the pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, earned a guaranteed $30 million payday. That amount of money (with more on the way) led some to believe he would vanish from fighting. But his manager, Audie Attar, said that’s far from the case.

Although McGregor said he was undecided about having his next fight in boxing or MMA during “The Money Fight” post-fight news conference, Attar alluded to the likelihood of the UFC lightweight champion returning to the octagon to defend his belt next.

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Who will he fight, though? A trilogy with Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) is one possibility, as is a showdown with the winner of October’s interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) at UFC 216. Top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) is also an option; the same can be said for a rematch with UFC featherweight titleholder Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC).

The world is essentially McGregor’s oyster, and Attar said that’s a good problem to have.

“He wants that trilogy (with Diaz),” Attar told MMAjunkie. “You’ve got Khabib calling him out, then you obviously have Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee who are fighting for the interim lightweight title. You have Max Holloway, who is the 145 champ now, who Conor beat after blowing out his ACL at the beginning of the fight. You have options, and he loves mixed martial arts.

“Everyone is like, ‘Oh, he’s going to retire – he made so much money.’ He’s ambitious. He’s super ambitious, and he loves to fight. He loves to compete and he’s a superb professional athlete. So there’s much more of Conor McGregor that everybody will see, and we’ll see what’s next.”

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Despite the contest not going his way, Attar said the entire experience of the Mayweather fight was genuinely special. The ultimate goal was victory, but considering McGregor probably shouldn’t have even been in the ring with Mayweather, let alone take a few rounds from the future boxing Hall of Famer, Attar said there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

“We proved the naysayers wrong in more than one way,” Attar said. “Whether it was to step in the ring against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match or whether it was to land punches, or whether it was to go as far as we did … Ultimately, look – we felt it was an early stoppage. But nonetheless, hat goes off to Floyd – it was his night. You’re going up against arguably the greatest boxer of our generation, in his sport. I’m proud of Conor.”

Attar said McGregor is nowhere near content with the result, though.

“He’s so critical of himself,” Attar said. “He’s already watching film and dissecting his performance and what went wrong and it really reminded me of (the first) Diaz fight. You saw him there, humble in defeat, retool, learn, grew, came back in the rematch and looked like a different fighter. It kind of had that feeling. Bittersweet, but nonetheless I’m super happy for him.”

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McGregor’s immediate plans after the Mayweather fight included indulging in a bottle of his new brand of Irish whiskey. The when and wheres of his future beyond that are uncertain, but Attar said he’s going to do his best to ensure McGregor gets exactly what he wants.

“It’s whatever makes him happy,” Attar said. “Every client has his own goals, but I know he has some very bold ambitions and I’m excited to be a part of that and help him realize his dreams as I do with all my clients. You want each client to realize their own dreams.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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