Retired superstar Conor McGregor is back training again, and it could be just in time for the fighter to be ready for however the main event at UFC 254 works out. The 32-year-old UFC legend posted stories via Instagram on Friday that have sparked comeback rumors for some fans, and at least given hope to many others, that McGregor might fight again in the future.
In the video, McGregor is seen shadowboxing inside a boxing ring.
Indeed, less than two hours after this story published, McGregor announced his comeback plans.
Will McGregor Comeback to UFC?
McGregor retired over the summer amidst apparent frustration that he couldn’t get the specific fights he wanted.
Most notably, McGregor was interested in facing either UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or interim champ Justin Gaethje next.
But Nurmagomedov had already defeated McGregor via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in 2018, and Gaethje’s epic choice after stunning Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May was to pursue a title shot against Nurmagomedov over a money-grab against McGregor.
So McGregor called it quits for the third time in four years.
Regardless, most pundits expect to see McGregor back inside the UFC’s Octagon. However frustrated he might be with not getting his way during the pandemic, the fact remains that McGregor is still the world’s most popular MMA fighter.
His career is likely set to continue just as soon as UFC president Dana White and company come up with a fight McGregor wants next.
That could be the winner of UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje, or potentially a third fight against superstar Nate Diaz.
Other candidates have also emerged this year as well, including the suddenly popular Khamzat Chimaev, a rising 26-year-old welterweight phenom who has been trolling McGregor on social media since his UFC arrival.
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McGregor Could Pursue Another Boxing Match
Most of McGregor’s social media posts of training since the summer began have been related to boxing in some way or another.
While boxing is part of any UFC fighter’s arsenal of weapons and one of the big components of McGregor’s game, some have suggested that McGregor will head back into a boxing ring at least one more time and that his posts show he’s readying himself for that opportunity.
McGregor was stopped in the 10th round by undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August 2017 in the second-biggest boxing pay-per-view event in history.
McGregor made more money in that single boxing match than any of his UFC fights, so some believe the fighter would be well served by going back to that well for one more pull.
Among the most probable opponents for McGregor inside a boxing ring would be to face Mayweather again in a rematch or taking on Mayweather’s chief rival Manny Pacquiao.
Either of those fights would do big business because either would feature two of the three biggest combat sports celebrities in the world facing each other.
Mayweather defeated Pacquiao via decision in 2015 in the best-selling boxing pay-per-view event ever.
Stylistically, Pacquiao’s aggressive style would pair nicely with McGregor’s counterpunching.
Finally, McGregor seems to have issued a vital weight stipulation to Pacquiao a few months ago, but nothing happened after that to lead one to believe the fight is imminent.
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