Gunnar Nelson, McGregor’s training partner says it’s unlikely McGregor will return to UFC in 2017.
It will depend on certain things. Money is not the only thing he cares about, at all. He does care about it a lot, but if a fight excites him and he thinks it’s a great challenge — if it’s making history and all that kind of stuff — he’ll do it…He’s got a lot of money now that keeps him occupied. He can do a lot of stuff. I think he’d be all right for a year. He always has something cooking. Right now, it’s the Mayweather fight, and that seems like it’s going to happen. I think he’ll keep himself busy one way or another…If he wouldn’t have anything to do, he’d probably be up to no good. He’ll always figure something out. He needs excitement.
Nelson, McGregor’s training partner, says that he has recently met MCGregor in the gym.
He’s more training boxing now, getting ready for the Mayweather bout. That’s the focus right now. He’s around but I didn’t train with him this time. It’s going to generate a lot of money. I think that’s the idea of it all. But I believe in Conor too. I have a hard time predicting exactly how this thing goes and how good Mayweather is at boxing compared to Conor. But I just know that Mayweather has struggled with southpaws. Conor is also bigger than him. Mayweather is almost always the bigger guy, except maybe when he fought Canelo. Conor has the reach as well. I think Conor could trick him in his own game. I’m just looking forward to seeing it.
Nelson says McGregor will not fight Mayweather in September.
They are definitely hyping it up, both of them. Both of them are taking part in it so I think they’d definitely like to build it up – build up the money and make it happen at some point. But, I don’t know how it works with the UFC, they’d have to make some sort of contract with them and include them somehow because most of us know how the UFC deals (are). You can’t just go off and do a super-fight with Floyd Mayweather if you’re signed with the UFC. We’ll see how things go, I definitely don’t think it’s going to happen or whenever they said. September or something is it? I don’t think either New Year’s (Eve) I think that’s a bit too close. I think they’re just putting dates and stuff like that will just hype the whole thing and keep hyping until they get a few hundred million.
Nelson says McGregor can learn from his losing bout with Diaz.
I think there were some technical mistakes in that fight that cost him the fight basically. I mean if you watch the first round and the beginning of the second, he was winning the fight, obviously, he was picking Diaz apart really. But there were a lot of shots that were kind of missing. He threw a lot more shots than he had to and I think maybe he rushed it a bit…I think if he takes his time and breaks him down, does what he does best, uses his speed a little bit better and maybe not concentrate on power as much, I think he will walk through Diaz.
Nelson talks about McGregor at a pre-fight conference:
I haven’t trained much with Conor since his last fight, but we did a week in Iceland. We always focus quite a bit on grappling, so I think his focus will be as it has been. Maybe focus on some specific things for his opponent, who is going to be again, bigger and longer. Some tactical strategies maybe for him specifically. Also, I think he needs some time to train. Like we’ve seen, he ‘retired’ that other day because he felt like he wasn’t getting the space to train. There was too many media obligations and things like that. If that’s how he feels, he definitely needs to get time to train on his own, and get some space.
In an interview with The MMAHour, Nelson says the weight cut to 145 lbs is so difficult that he would prefer to see McGregor continue his career at lightweight, which he says is a more natural weight class.
With 145 lbs, I know he can go back down and defend his title, no problem. I just think he doesn’t want to do that cut again. It’s a nasty one and I agree with him. I understand that. I would like to see him go to the 155 lbs division before going all the way up to welterweight but he’ll do whatever he feels like.
On the retirement tweet:
I think it kind of happened because he wanted to really focus on his training for this fight and he felt like going over there and doing all this media stuff was going to take away from his training and I think that’s the reason why he kind of had enough of that. Like he says, he’s done dancing like a monkey and he wants to focus on training. And I understand that…When exactly, I’m not sure but maybe UFC 201 or UFC 202. I would definitely put my money on him coming back and I believe the money is there as well.
Video is released of McGregor sparring with Nelson at Mjölnir MMA in Iceland.
McGregor’s former manager posts a video of him training with Nelson in Iceland.