Conor McGregor hasn’t fought in the Octagon since November, 2016, and based off new comments Dana White’s made, it looks like it could still be a while before he does so again.
Even before McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather in August, who and when the UFC’s lightweight champ would face in the cage next, was a common discussion. There was even talk that McGregor might return for a year end bout at UFC 219, but after he was stopped by Mayweather, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen.
In recent weeks, McGregor has said that he wants to legitimize his reign as the lightweight champ, and he’s also reported that he’s in talks with the UFC to finalize his next bout. Well, White made a couple of media appearances recently, and while on SportsCenter, the UFC President said this about McGregor (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Let’s get through the holidays and hopefully he starts to get the itch to come back and hopefully we can get him back this summer,”
“Money is always a factor but we’ve never had a problem getting a deal done with Conor McGregor. I don’t see that being a problem,” White said, while referring to contract talks with the Irish star. “The question is does he want to come back and do it? No matter how much money you make, I always feel like with certain people you can only go on so many vacations, there’s only so much stuff you can buy and then you’re ready to get back to the grind, hopefully.”
So, the part that jumps out there is “summer”, as this likely isn’t at all what the UFC was thinking would happen, when the company signed off on McGregor boxing Mayweather. But, recently it was reported that Tony Ferguson underwent elbow surgery, so this could be another reason White provided that timeline.
And speaking of “El Cucuy”, White also appeared on FOX Sport’s “Undisputed” , and while doing so, he said McGregor needs to defend his title. In addition, White also said ““Tony Ferguson is the fight right now and is the move if (McGregor) wants to come back” (quote via MMA Fighting).
So, it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks. Will the UFC finalize a new deal with McGregor? Is Ferguson a lock as his opponent? Hopefully we find out sooner than later.