It has been eight months since former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor last fought in the Octagon. “The Notorious” headed into the UFC 229 main event with the goal of proving that he’s the real king of the UFC lightweight division. Unfortunately, McGregor lost the match via submission in the fourth round against the reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Five months after suffering a massive defeat from the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor announced his retirement on social media. McGregor is reportedly leaving the world of mixed martial arts to focus on his whiskey business, but there are some people who don’t believe that he’s really retired, including UFC President Dana White. In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, White expressed strong confidence that McGregor will fight again in the Octagon.
UFC President Dana White went as far as saying that Conor McGregor will unretire and compete in the Octagon before the 2019 ends.
“Conor is a competitor, man. He loves to fight. This is his passion in life,” White said.
Dana White might be very optimistic about Conor McGregor’s return, but he still can’t give any specific information regarding who he will fight next. Before talking about McGregor’s opponent, White said that he first wants to see how things will play out in the UFC 238 event where two strong UFC light contenders, Tony Ferguson and Donald “Cowboy Cerrone,” will be facing each other.
Conor McGregor will make UFC return this year says Dana White but dream fight with Khabib not guaranteed https://t.co/uW2M6r6Piu
— The Sun MMA (@TheSunMMA) June 8, 2019
Per UFC.com, Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone rank No. 2 and No. 4 in the UFC lightweight rankings, respectively, and Dana White sees their upcoming match a potential Fight of the Year candidate. Ferguson and Cerrone will undeniably be intriguing opponents for McGregor, but White is well-aware that as of now, there’s only one man who “The Notorious” wants to fight if ever he considers competing again in the Octagon – UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Conor 100 percent believes he can beat Khabib,” White said, according to MMA Fighting.
“He wants the rematch, he feels he deserves the rematch before anybody else. So we’ve got to see how these fights play out. This weekend is a very big, important fight in that whole division and what’s gonna happen. Then in September, the Khabib fight will play out in Abu Dhabi. Then we’ll see what’s next.”
Though there’s only a minimal chance for it to happen this year, UFC President Dana White is not closing his doors for the potential rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, after a dominant victory at UFC 229, it remains a big question mark whether Nurmagomedov still has any interest in fighting McGregor again. Before talking about another match, Nurmagomedov wants to keep his focus on his upcoming title defense against interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.