Sunday 25 August 2019

'I think McGregor is gonna come back at the beginning of next year' - Dana White expects 2020 Notorious return

Down and out: Conor McGregor says he has retired from MMA. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Down and out: Conor McGregor says he has retired from MMA. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

UFC chief Dana White has confirmed that he expects Conor McGregor to make a return to the sport next year, despite his own claims that he has retired.

McGregor has been out of the octagon since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, with the conclusive manner of that defeat leaving many observers to suspect the Irishman would not fight again after a highly lucrative career that included a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.

McGregor appeared to confirm those suspicions as he posted a message on his social media feeds confirming he was retiring, but there have been persistent rumours since then that he would consider a return to the octagon if a rematch with Nurmagomedov or a showdown with Dustin Poirier was offered to him.

McGregor's last UFC contest was the highest-grossing event in the history of UFC and White is hoping to open the Conor cash machine once more in 2020.

"I think McGregor is gonna come back at the beginning of next year," White told the Rich Eisen show in America, before suggesting a rematch with Khabib is possible if he wins his fight with Poirier next month.

"That would be a massive fight and it’s absolutely possible, yes," he added. "It’s a very interesting division because you have Khabib, you have Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone, Justin Gaethje - there’s just so many unbelievable fights in that weight class.

"So, realistically, all these guys are looking at September to see what happens with Khabib and Poirier. After that fight plays out, I think there’s gonna be a lot of movement going on."

McGregor is likely to react to White's comments on his social media feeds in the coming days, with the fighter who has earned well in excess of $100m over the course of his career keeping a relatively low profile by his standards in recent months.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport