Before there are any plans made for Conor McGregor to make his return to the Octagon in 2020, he wants to ensure that the safety measures in place are going to work.
According to his manager Audie Attar, McGregor will be following this weekend’s event for many reasons, including scouting potential future opponents, and ensuring the safety of the event taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Attar stated that McGregor will be watching the interim lightweight title fight between Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson, but will also be taking a serious look into how the UFC plans to pull off three events in the matter of a week (May 9, 13, and 16). McGregor has taken to the public to show just how serious he is taking COVID-19, donating and giving back to hospitals in Ireland, and he’s curious to see if everyone will be safe at UFC 249.
“Conor is very curious to see whether the health and safety of the athletes and staff are ensured. He wants to make sure everyone is taken care of properly.” (Courtesy of ESPN)
Attar told ESPN that McGregor is likely considering a return in July, if the UFC can ensure the safety of all who will be involved with putting on the upcoming events. There is a possibility that McGregor’s return could come with fighting in front of no crowd and while it’s certainly not ideal for one of the biggest draws, if not the biggest, his manager believes people at home watching him fight could provide some positivity.
“While Conor’s desire would be to fight in front of another sold-out crowd, he does understand what fighting in an empty arena could do for people at home and would consider if he is comfortable with the way the UFC is holding these events from a health and safety standpoint.”
Any potential news of a McGregor return will get the sport buzzing and although there was some recent chatter about possible fights for the former featherweight and lightweight champion, it appears the main focus is the health and safety of everyone involved with putting on UFC events.
When do you think Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/7/2020