Speaking to BT Sport while in the United Kingdom for Thursday’s UFC 242 press conference, UFC President Dana White provided an update on the sport’s biggest star, Conor McGregor.
White says McGregor is simply waiting on the sidelines until the lightweight contendership picture becomes a little bit clearer.
“Conor is in a position where he’s sitting back right now, and I think waiting to see how this whole thing plays out with all these guys. But he should pop up soon.”
Dana White also addressed a recent comment from MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz, who claimed his fighter Justin Gaethje was recently turned down by Conor McGregor.
White says that’s simply not true.
“No,” he said bluntly. “Conor hasn’t turned down anything. Ali can say whatever. Conor doesn’t turn down fights — period. Conor has been one of the most stand-up… when things get crazy and most people pull out of fights, Conor stays in. Conor McGregor isn’t afraid to fight anyone, so that is absolutely false.”
The UFC boss wrapped up by sharing his belief that McGregor will fight again this year.
“I think we’ll see him this year,” White said.
Conor McGregor has not fought since UFC 229, when he was submitted by reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bout that stands out as the biggest in UFC history. Since then, he’s been linked to a rematch with Nurmagomedov and a showdown with fan favorite contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, but neither matchup has come to fruition just yet.
Given the paydays McGregor has made from fighting, and the money that continues to flow in from his various business ventures, he no longer seems to have any financial impetus to fight. That being said, it seems his desire to compete is still there.
Do you think we’ll see him fight again this year?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/13/2019.