Dana White pumps brakes on Conor McGregor comeback talk

Conor McGregor, Dana White, UFC 229

Early this morning, Conor McGregor appeared at a press conference in Moscow, Russia, where he announced plans for a comeback on January 18.

“I have some news for you all, for the world, here today,” McGregor told the media in attendance in the Russian capital (transcript via MMA Fighting).

“For me, I wish to compete here in Moscow, Russia,” McGregor continued. “We know that, this is known. We know what bout I am seeking here in Mother Russia, the people of Russia deserve this inevitable rematch to take place here in Moscow and it will happen. However, I am not waiting around for that man [Nurmagomedov]. That man is a known pullout; a known fearer of risk – he does not take risk – so for me, I am not waiting around.”

Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto shortly thereafter, UFC President Dana White corroborated this comment from McGregor, but clarified that the deal is far from done yet.

“Yes, we are targeting that date for Conor’s return but no deals are even close to being signed,” White told Okamoto.

Conor McGregor has not fought in over a year. In his last fight, he was submitted by UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

According to Okamoto’s fellow ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani, the frontrunners in terms of opponents for McGregor’s comeback fight are Justin Gaethje and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone — two men he’s been linked to several times over the last year.

Time will tell if McGregor actually ends up fighting one of these men in January, or if this goes down as the latest bit of failed negotiations between the Irishman and the UFC. Either outcome seems possible at this stage.

How do you think the current Conor McGregor situation will shake out? Make your opinions heard in the comments section down below!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/23/2019.