Don’t get too married to the idea of Conor McGregor returning to the octagon, UFC fans.
Now that the manufactured hysteria of McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally and mercifully has subsided, MMA fans have turned their collective attention toward The Notorious’ eventual return to UFC. But during a press event Tuesday in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White cast some serious doubt over McGregor’s future in the sport.
Check out this report from Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole:
Momentum seemed to be building toward McGregor making his return at UFC 219 on Dec. 30. But after the 29-year-old jumped into the octagon and shoved a referee at Bellator 187, White barred him from that event as punishment.
“Listen, Conor might never fight again,” White said, per Iole. “He made $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys who made less than that who are lawyers and went to school their whole lives and quit working. When you go to school your whole life to be a lawyer, and you’re a good lawyer, and you make a few bucks and you’re done?
“The guy’s sitting home every day watching cartoons or whatever he’s doing. I don’t know.”
There reportedly has been some tension between McGregor’s camp and UFC throughout negotiations for his potential return. Still, White isn’t about to turn his back on the sport’s most popular fighter.
“If Conor wants to fight again, absolutely we want Conor to come fight,” White said. “But if Conor walks away and doesn’t ever want to fight again, it’s part of the game.”
McGregor hasn’t fought in the octagon since winning the lightweight title at UFC 205 on Nov. 4, 2016. White reportedly said that McGregor needs to defend the belt, though he’s yet to give him an ultimatum.
Tony Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee last month at UFC 216 to claim the interim lightweight title.
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