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Conor McGregor’s return in 2022: Coach eyes Nate Diaz trilogy fight ... or Tony Ferguson

Conor McGregor revealed that he was hoping to return to full sparring as early as April 2022 after suffering a nasty leg break in his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier this past July (see it again here).

After undergoing surgery, “Notorious” immediately began the rehabilitation process in hopes of mounting a comeback sometime in the new year. As far as who he could potentially face, the options are limitless because the Irishman is still one of the most called out fighters in the game today.

If McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh had his way, he has two names in mind for his star pupil’s comeback fight.

“I’ll be honest, the Nate Diaz trilogy is very, very tempting. It’s a fight that gives me nightmares,” he said on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “The man doesn’t stop coming forward, whether it’s three rounds or five rounds, but it’s an intriguing fight. So that one is definitely very interesting.”

Of course, the combatants split their first two meetings with Diaz submitting McGregor at UFC 196. In the rematch, “Notorious” won a unanimous decision at UFC 202. If that fight doesn’t happen again right away, Kavanagh has another big name in mind.

“But, also the Tony Ferguson one — it never happened. It was talked about a lot. And Tony still has, I believe, a lot to offer the game. He’s a very unorthodox striker, grappler. I think the buildup would be fun for the fans. So any of those kind of legacy guys.”

Ferguson is currently on a three-fight losing streak, so I doubt that’s a fight McGregor is eying at the moment, especially when he feels he should get a shot at the title upon his return.

Those are just a couple of options because the 155-pound division is alive and well despite Khabib Nurmagomedov’s departure. Speaking of which, Kavanagh wouldn’t be opposed to a fight between McGregor and “The Eagle’s” top protege.

”Look, that division is killer,” Kavanagh said. “Your Dan Hooker’s in there. The Islam [Makhachev] fight would be amazing as well, for obvious reasons. And we have whoever is going to win this belt coming up this Saturday. So, look, any of those names. I’m just excited to see Conor back healthy, training.”