UFC president Dana White isn’t so sure Conor McGregor is going to stay retired. During a recent interview on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports, White suggested McGregor was only retired “as of right now” and that the UFC’s top official could see McGregor returning to action as soon as next year after several other high-profile fights play out.
White said, “He gets to pick and choose what he wants to do now, and he’s at that point in his career where he’s got a few fights left.”
McGregor is the world’s biggest MMA superstar, but he’s only competed once over the last 21 months.
White Explains McGregor’s Latest Retirement
McGregor shockingly retired in June in an apparent huff over not getting next crack at either UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or interim champ Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in October 2018. McGregor and Gaethje have never met inside the Octagon though there was a time when the American was considered one of the frontrunners to be McGregor’s next opponent.
But after Gaethje stepped in on late notice to defeat Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, Gaethje’s epic choice was deciding to take his shot at grabbing the undisputed lightweight crown against Nurmagomedov next over facing McGregor.
That left McGregor without a viable dance partner at 155 pounds.
White Not Alone in Doubting McGregor
Despite his retirement, most pundits agree with White in refusing to buy McGregor’s claim that he’s finished with fighting. That’s because the 31-year-old has retired three times over the last four years and came back to the fight again each time.
So of course White isn’t buying McGregor’s latest retirement claim. Still, White did shut down the idea Cowherd lobbed at him about the Irishman not still being one of the best UFC fighters in the world today.
“There’s no doubt that Conor McGregor’s one of the best in the world,” White said. “What’s going on with Conor McGregor is what goes on with all professional fighters when they become extremely wealthy and Conor McGregor is rich.”
McGregor Began 2020 With Bold Promises
McGregor started 2020 with bold promises about fighting three or more times during the year.
His tune changed dramatically after it became apparent he wasn’t going to get what he desired in terms of his next fight.
Still, things started with a bang in January.
The UFC’s top draw returned from more than a year-long layoff to stop Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246.
After that stunning victory, it seemed as if McGregor was on his way to enjoying another huge year.
But by June the fighter had retired from the sport again and had minimally injected another long layoff into the prime years of his fighting career if not ruined his chances at recapturing UFC gold entirely.
If McGregor does indeed have a “few fights left,” one would hope those happen sooner rather than later.
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