One of the more talked about aspects of a potential crossover fight between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and boxing’s Floyd Mayweather is what it would mean to the future. Namely, if McGregor cashes in on the type of payday that nears nine figures, in what form does he return to MMA?
His longtime training partner Gunnar Nelson was asked about that on a recent interview with Submission Radio. And Nelson is in the camp that believes McGregor may just ride off into the sunset.
Or, float off to do “something crazy.”
“You never know what he’s going to do next,” Nelson said. “If he beats Mayweather, I’m not sure that he will ever fight again, to be honest. I don’t know, but I could see him just floating off and doing something else crazy.
“But otherwise, maybe he’ll fight Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or something next, if Khabib is in shape. I don’t know, there’s something wrong with [Khabib]’s kidneys or something after that cut. We’ll see. I don’t know what he’s going to do, but he’s just focusing on one thing at a time and right now it’s Floyd Mayweather and I’m looking forward to that myself.”
Iceland’s Nelson has trained with McGregor since McGregor’s early days competing on the local Irish scene. The one thing that Nelson has noticed is that McGregor likes career escalation, going from Cage Warriors to the UFC, from the prelims to the main event, from becoming the featherweight champion to becoming a dual champion with the lightweight title as well.
It’s that sense of going bigger each time that Nelson said he wonders about, since nothing could be bigger — purse-wise, if not legacy-wise — than his fight with Mayweather.
“I’m basing it on that he wants to go bigger every time,” Nelson said. “And if he beats Mayweather — like, he’s taken two belts, and then he beats Mayweather in this huge superfight — I’m not sure what he’s going to see as a next challenge or a next thing that he wants to do.
“I just don’t really see what he wants to come into the UFC again for. I’m not sure. Obviously there’s always something [more]. But he’s also having a baby, and I’m not sure where his mind is going to be. He’s going to have a ton of money anyway. Maybe he’ll do another boxing match or something if it goes well. Maybe he’ll get more money there and be more interested in that. I don’t know, we’ll see I guess.”