Conor McGregor will be competing in what some consider the biggest fight in MMA history Saturday when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC's lightweight belt in Las Vegas. But that doesn't mean he isn't looking ahead to the future.
The Irishman told ESPN's Ariel Helwani he would win this weekend by "devastating KO" and then assess his next opponent from a long list of possible suitors. This includes a rematch with Floyd Mayweather in either boxing or MMA.
"If [Mayweather] has the bottle to come over and deal with this, like he said he has, let's see what happens. I would also like to box him again. Everything is being discussed. Every rule set. If it's not an MMA bout, then I don't want to know. It's either a straight MMA bout or a straight boxing bout. If they come looking for modified rules, I would rather just box the kid again. If you don't want to deal with it, then don't deal with it and stop going on like you're doing."
MMA legend Georges St-Pierre, the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, stated earlier this summer he would be interested in returning to face the winner of UFC 229's main event. Asked about that particular matchup, McGregor responded with another name.
"We'll see what happens, but I don't think next," he said. "He doesn't really have anything for me personally. I'm not going to shut the door on that down the line. You know what would be another great one? Anderson Silva.
"I would be interested in an Anderson Silva bout. I swear to God. Anderson is a legend in the game. What's the difference between him and Georges? Same damn thing. I'm going to do fights that interest me or have meaning."
The most obvious next option for McGregor is a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz. The two first fought at UFC 196 in March 2016 in a bloody war that ended in Diaz submitting McGregor by rear-naked choke in the second round. There was a rematch at UFC 202 the following August and a similar back-and-forth fight ensued. McGregor won by majority decision.
McGregor emphatically stated that there will be a third fight in the rivalry.
"Nate Diaz will always have a rematch off of me," McGregor said. "No matter what happens, I will always give that man his rematch. He gave me a rematch, I give him a rematch. That's the way it is. When it will happen, I don't know. We will complete that trilogy, no doubt about it."
First, though, McGregor will have to get past the toughest test of his career, Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena against Nurmagomedov. The Dagestan native, undefeated at 26-0, has dominated opponents to this point largely based on his elite grappling skills. He is coming off a unanimous decision win against Al Iaquinta in April at UFC 223.
Two days prior to that fight, McGregor threw a dolly at a bus carrying fighters, shattering the window and injuring some inside.
The bad blood between the fighters and their camps have yet to simmer down in the months since. And if it's up to McGregor, it won't end on Saturday night.
"The man is a fake rat," he said of Nurmagomedov. "You know who he's managed by, you know the way they are. F--- every single one of them. Every single one of them can get it. This is never going to be over. It's not over after this fight. Trust me on that. Every one of them need to watch where they f---ing step."