With Conor McGregor now holding all the chips after making history at UFC 205 with his knockout win over Eddie Alvarez to claim the Lightweight title (see it again here), the options for his next opponent are endless. That's because McGregor -- who is also Featherweight champion -- now has to decide whether he wants to defend his 145-pound strap for the first time since winning it in Dec. 2015 or give a worthy 155-pound contender a crack at that title.
As for what John Kavanagh -- McGregor's head trainer -- prefers for his star pupil, he'd like to see him stay at Lightweight. And in a rather surprising choice for many, Kavanagh says he'd like to see Nate Diaz -- who he dubbed the second best 155-pound fighter in the world behind to "Notorious" -- get first dibs at McGregor's 155-pound strap.
"I understand Khabib is the No. 1 contender and it is probably going to be him, if that's how the company works." said John during his appearance on "The MMA Hour." "But for me, interest-wise, the Nate Diaz fight interests me greater. If it's Tony, if it's Khabib, great, they are two fantastic fighters and a lot to learn in the preparations for them. Both of their fights will be interesting to watch, a lot of problems for me to solve and to see Conor beat both of them will be interesting for me. But, I think Nate would be quite a bit better than either of them.
"As a fan, that's the fight that would interest me most," concluded Kavanagh.
Of course, McGregor and Diaz have already gone toe-to-toe on two occasions, with Diaz winning their initial encounter at UFC 196 (see it) and then the Irishman getting some revenge at UFC 202 several months later. Both of those fights, however, were contested at Welterweight.
While Diaz has competed at Lightweight the majority of his career and is the No. 4-ranked fighter in the division, there are more worthy challengers ahead of him. Chief among them is Tony Ferguson -- who is currently holding down the No. 1 spot -- and is also riding a nine-fight win streak at the moment. In addition, the No. 2-ranked fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov, has seven consecutive wins inside the Octagon, 24 overall, including his submission victory over Michael Johnson at UFC 205 (see it).
As we've seen in the past -- and more-so now -- McGregor has always punched his own ticket when it comes to getting the fights he wants. So if he wants to give Diaz a championship opportunity next, these days, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary if it happened. Sure, it would more than likely piss off one or three contender's, but if the promotion -- and more important McGregor -- says it makes
sense cents, don't be surprised to see the trilogy fight happen sooner rather than later.