Conor McGregor's ideal next fights are against either Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight championship or a third showdown with Nate Diaz, according to striking coach Owen Roddy.
McGregor made UFC history at Madison Square Garden in November when he became the first man in the promotion's history to hold two belts at the same time after dismantling Eddie Alvarez inside two rounds. The reigning featherweight and lightweight champion promptly announced his plans to take some time out of the Octagon with his first child expected in May, but has already laid some of the groundwork for what could be another historic showdown with Woodley.
McGregor and Woodley were involved in an exchange backstage the night before UFC 205 with the reigning welterweight champion inviting the Dubliner to step up to the 170lbs mark and challenge for his title.
Despite McGregor's absence, talk over what's next for him continues to dominant the UFC agenda. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour podcast, McGregor's striking coach Roddy was also quizzed on what lies ahead for the double champion, explaining stepping to welterweight to challenge Woodley could be his natural next step.
"Maybe [Tyron] Woodley," Roddy said. "For me, for him to go up and compete for a third belt [the welterweight title], maybe Woodley. [Nate] Diaz again is another great one. I think it is what fans would want to see. They want to see something special, again, the Diaz fight again is special. The Woodley fight is special."
McGregor and Diaz clashed twice in what was UFC 2016's most explosive rivalry, with each man taking a victory. Another name to have entered the fray is Khabib Nurmagomedov, who dominated Michael Johnson on the UFC 205 undercard to extend his flawless record to 24-0.
The Russian had originally been in line to challenge for Alavrez's lightweight title before he was pushed out of the picture by McGregor. A furious Nurmagomedov has demanded a title shot against the Irishman, threatening to leave the promotion if he doesn't get his wish.
But when asked if McGregor vs Nurmagomedov was a feasible option, Roddy was unsure if a showdown with the 28-year-old would be big enough to keep the McGregor marketing machine satisfied.
"You can't really doubt Khabib at this stage. He's a phenomenal grappler and a phenomenal wrestler. But I don't know whether the excitement is there, you know? Obviously for Conor it is about the pay-per-views. It's about the money. Whether Khabib will hit the pay-per-views for him I just don't know."