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Kavanagh: I prefer a Nate Diaz trilogy, but it’s unlikely Conor McGregor fights in 2017

John Kavanagh says it’s unlikely that Conor McGregor fights in 2017.

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2 Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

What’s next for Conor McGregor after his high profile loss to Floyd Mayweather? It’s probably going to be in mixed martial arts, and while the UFC champion himself obviously has the final say, his coach John Kavanagh has explained what he wants to happen moving forward.

Kavanagh says he wants McGregor to complete the trilogy against Nate Diaz, as the two fighters battling for the interim title isn’t that intriguing to him.

“I’ve said for a long time that the Nate Diaz trilogy fight at lightweight is what I’d personally like to see next. That still needs to be put to bed,” Kavanagh wrote on The 42.

“Even though Conor is the champion, I know there’s an interim lightweight title fight coming up between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee. To be completely honest, I didn’t actually know who Kevin was until very recently.

“Tony is a solid fighter but he doesn’t have the kind of appeal that would get your blood racing, particularly in the context of coming from the excitement of the Nate Diaz rematch, the historical significance of beating Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden, and the novelty of facing the greatest boxer of his generation.”

The SBG head coach made it clear that this was only his personal opinion, and McGregor may think differently. But as for when that return may happen, Kavanagh believes it’s “unlikely” that McGregor returns this year.

“We’re currently taking a bit of down time after a fairly exhausting few months. Conor is in Ibiza for a friend’s wedding, I’m in Florida with my fiancée Orlagh and we haven’t looked too far beyond that.”

“It’s probably a little late in the day to realistically expect another fight before the end of the year, because even after this hiatus is over, a lot goes into the planning and execution of a training camp at our level. I find it hard to envisage another fight in 2017.

“Then again, knowing Conor, I could get a text message tonight telling me otherwise. He’s difficult to predict, which is one of the many reasons why he’s so fascinating.”

Apart from the “planning and execution” of training camp that Kavanagh mentioned, a return to MMA probably also means another sitdown with the UFC brass, with McGregor negotiating for a higher purse for his first title defense.