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Although Conor McGregor is the UFC’s biggest draw, and appears to be so by a considerable margin, Dana White insists the company will be fine if the superstar never returns.

As 2018 gets underway, it’s not clear when McGregor will fight again. The UFC’s lightweight champ has reported he’s looking forward to his Octagon return, but McGregor needs a new contract, before he’ll do so. One which, according to comments from McGregor, includes him as a partner with the UFC.

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Well, before McGregor was stopped by undefeated boxing star, Floyd Mayweather in August, White said there was a chance the champ would return before 2017 was up. That never happened. More recently, the UFC boss man has said they hope to have McGregor fight by this summer, which would mean approximately 18 months will have gone by, since the Irish fighter fought in the Octagon.

In addition, White also had this to say recently about the return of McGregor, during an appearance on FOX Sport’s Undisputed (quotes via

“I always say, ‘If Conor McGregor fights next year, that’ll be awesome. If Conor McGregor doesn’t fight, the UFC is going to go on’”

“I’ve been hearing this since 2003. “What are you going to do when Chuck Liddell’s gone? What are you going to do when Georges St-Pierre leaves. You’re in big trouble when Anderson Silva’s gone. And the list goes on and on. Ronda Rousey.

“Last year was the best in the company’s history. So we’re going to keep finding new talent and putting on the best fights in the world.

“That’s what we’re going to continue to do. With or without anybody.”

It is certainly true that the UFC has seen stars come and go, or big names decline in drawing power, and the promotion has continued to prosper. After all, this is a company that reportedly sold for around $4 billion dollars.

Reading between the lines here, one might question if White’s also delivering a bit of a message here to McGregor’s camp, as contract talks continue. In other words, could White be attempting to counter / reduce McGregor’s demands? Perhaps there will be more to come on this? As we continue to wait for word on McGregor’s next bout.