Conor McGregor will hopefully fight by the end of 2022 or in early 2023, but he’ll return in the UFC and not a rumored rematch against Floyd Mayweather.
That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who scoffed at reports stating McGregor was in talks for a second boxing match against Mayweather after they first met back in 2017. To be fair, White also denied the first McGregor vs. Mayweather fight would ever happen until it was eventually signed but he seems adamant that the Irish superstar would be competing in mixed martial arts not in boxing.
“Not me, I’m not talking about that,” White said with a laugh when asked about the McGregor vs. Mayweather 2 rumors on The Jim Rome Show on Monday. “[Conor’s return] will be in the cage. Conor’s looking to come back the end of this year, early next year.”
McGregor has been training hard to return from a broken leg suffered in his last appearance in the UFC where he fell to Dustin Poirier for the second time in July 2021.
Immediately after the fight, McGregor was rushed into surgery to repair the damage done to his leg but the severity of the broken leg was expected to keep him sidelined for at least the next year.
While McGregor has teased interest in boxing again before his combat sports career is over, White is confident that his next fight will take place in the UFC and there’s no doubt he’s hungry to return. Add to that, Mayweather, who is currently booking exhibition bouts after retiring following the first fight with McGregor, already has his next matchup booked as part of a RIZIN card scheduled in Japan in September.
“When I do talk to Conor, Conor wants to fight,” White said. “Conor gets all kinds of offers for movie roles and all these other things that he could go and do and make money. He doesn’t want to do any of that. Conor wants to fight.”
As far as McGregor still being motivated enough to compete again considering he’s far and away the biggest earning fighter in UFC history while also making significant income from the sale of his whiskey brand this past year, White doesn’t believe that’s really an issue right now.
White knows McGregor loves making money but he’s also still very passionate about fighting and thankfully those two things go hand-in-hand whenever the former two-division UFC champion competes.
“He does both,” White said. “When he fights, he gets paid. Fighting is what he wants to do.”