This week, news surfaced that the highly anticipated Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match would take place on August 26th at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, where the two men would fight at 154 pounds.
While the fight community immediately went wild following months of anticipation, MMA fans began to wonder if this meant McGregor wouldn’t be returning to the UFC to defend his lightweight title belt. Following news of the fight being made official, UFC President Dana White did a Q&A with fight fans, where he fielded questions regarding the fight, as well as Conor McGregor’s future with the UFC.
In regards to McGregor’s future plans with the promotion, White stated:
“Yes Conor will defend his belt, Conor will actually turn right around, and fight this year after the Mayweather fight.”
With that being said however, White appeared to backtrack a bit later in the evening in speaking with Fox Sports:
“I’m pretty confident (about McGregor’s UFC return),” White said. “In the conversation that I had with him, he’s fired up for this fight and he’s excited to fight again and defend his title by the end of the year. Nothing is a guarantee. You can’t be guaranteed anybody’s ever going to fight again.”
“If I had to tell you right here, right now, do I think Conor’s coming back this year? I absolutely do,”
McGregor of course will likely return to the UFC to defend his lightweight title following the Mayweather fight. When he returns to the Octagon he will likely fight either UFC lightweight #1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov or #2 ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson.
Another potential option could very well be a trilogy fight between Nate Diaz and McGregor, however the odds of that fight happening are rather low. That potential fight of course could very well stir some controversy however, as Diaz hasn’t fought since his majority decision loss to McGregor at UFC 202, and is currently ranked at #8 on the UFC’s lightweight rankings.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/15/2017.