UFC boss Dana White expects Conor McGregor to come out of retirement next year

Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty ImagesDana White cheers’d Conor McGregor’s whiskey brand at UFC 229 in 2018.
  • Conor McGregor is retired for now, but the UFC boss Dana White believes it will not be long before he fights again.
  • White said this week that McGregor may look at what is happening in and around the weight classes he competes in this month, and could want to fight in 2021.
  • “He’s at that point in his career where he’s got a few fights left,” White said.
  • The UFC president had previously said he would like to see McGregor fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in a rematch.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

FIGHT ISLAND – The UFC President Dana White appears to doubt that Conor McGregor will stay retired, and even said the Irishman “has got a few fights left” in him.

McGregor said last year that he intended to fight three times in 2020 and after annihilating Donald Cerrone at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at the start of the year, had been linked with summer showdowns against Nate Diaz, Justin Gaethje, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The former two-weight UFC champion had even texted White to express interest in competing at the company’s “Fight Island” shows, a four-event residency in a quarantined area on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, which begins Saturday, July 11 and ends on July 25.

McGregor then stunned the mixed martial arts world by retiring in an abrupt manner on social media, but not everybody was convinced the announcement was to be taken seriously.

White, perhaps, is now one of those people.

“As of right now, he’s retired,” White told Colin Cowherd Wednesday on The Herd Show on Fox Sports. However, he said, it might not be long before he returns.

“There’s no doubt that Conor McGregor is one of the best in the world,” said White.

“What’s going on with Conor McGregor is what’s going on with all professional fighters when they become extremely wealthy, and Conor McGregor is rich.

“He gets to pick and choose what he wants to do now, and he’s at that point in his career where he’s got a few fights left.

“And I think he wants to … as of right now he’s retired, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out and wanted to fight somebody next year, after all these different fights play out.”

A Nurmagomedov and McGregor rematch is a legacy fight, according to White

Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLCMcGregor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 but rebounded with a win in 2020.

Insider previously commented that should Jorge Masvidal defeat Kamaru Usman in Saturday’s main event at UFC 251, and win Usman’s welterweight championship, then the Floridian could be the one who coaxes McGregor back to the cage.

But White has long wanted to see a rematch between the UFC’s lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the multi-weight campaigner McGregor, even saying after McGregor’s win over Cerrone that a bout with the Dagestani wrestler should be next.

“Do I want Conor to fight three times this year? Sure. Fight Masvidal? Sure,” White said in January.

“But you gotta do what makes sense. Khabib vs. Conor is big for their legacies and the sport.”

Read more:

Jorge Masvidal went from streetfighting to ‘Fight Island’ and is just one win away from immortality and a massive Conor McGregor payday

An American fighter can be seen on video punching an older man to the floor, before shouting racial slurs to those around him

One of the UFC’s best fighters says he didn’t spar for his ‘Fight Island’ title fight and did training sessions over Zoom, alone

Jorge Masvidal arrived at ‘Fight Island’ wearing a Donald Trump mask and a bright, Miami pink Versace robe

UFC boss Dana White says he hasn’t spoken to Conor McGregor for weeks, suggesting the Irishman’s shock retirement is real

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