Dana White, the CEO of the UFC, has shared his expectations regarding Conor McGregor’s UFC return to the promotion’s octagon, indicating it’s more likely to happen next year rather than in the current year, despite McGregor’s expressed interest in headlining UFC 296 on December 16 against Michael Chandler.
Conor McGregor, a former UFC champion in two weight classes (lightweight and featherweight), last took the octagon’s center stage at UFC 264 in July 2021. Unfortunately, his return was marred by a first-round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss due to a fractured tibia and fibula against Dustin Poirier in their trilogy rubber match.
Earlier this year, McGregor also participated as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 31. During the show, he faced off with Michael Chandler, a former lightweight title challenger, with talks of a potential showdown at the welterweight limit for the series finale.
Dana White Talks About Conor McGregor UFC Return
Despite McGregor’s eagerness to make a swift return to the Octagon, potentially as early as December for UFC 296, Dana White’s timeline doesn’t quite align with the Irish fighter’s wishes.
In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Dana White shared, “Conor McGregor is back in the gym; he’s training. I expect to see Conor fighting next year.”
This news comes at a time when McGregor is facing a two-fight losing streak for the first time in his professional career, with his first-ever knockout loss occurring in January 2021 when he was defeated by Poirier in Abu Dhabi, UAE.