LOS ANGELES — In recent weeks, Conor McGregor’s team has insisted that the UFC lightweight champion will return to mixed martial arts following his Aug. 26 boxing megafight with Floyd Mayweather.
Just last week, his coach, John Kavanaugh, said that McGregor is eyeing a December return to the Octagon.
But UFC president Dana White isn’t so sure the Irish supernova will return any time soon. If it all.
Speaking to reporters at Staples Center on the first leg of the four-day, three-country tour to promote the Mayweather-McGregor fight, White acknowledged that McGregor, who is expected to pull in $100 million for the boxing match, might never fight in the UFC again.
“I had a bunch of guys who worked for us in the UFC and made a bunch of money and they’re gone now. You know? You just don’t know, if he’s going to come in and make this kind of money, he might never fight again,” White said.
And while that would obviously not be great news for the UFC, if Aug. 26 does in fact turn out to be the last time the only fighter ever to simultaneously hold two UFC weight-class titles competes in a combat sports arena, White is determined not to get in McGregor’s way.
“That’s part of the deal, you know?” White said. “This kid has done a lot for the sport, a lot for the company and this is the fight that he wanted, so we’re going to give it to him. And if this is the end of his career, then it is what it is. “