UFC chief Dana White claims that Conor McGregor WILL return to the octagon ‘next year’ – but admits fears that the Irishman has lost his ‘hunger’
- Dana White sat down for a tell-all interview with Talk TV host Piers Morgan
- The UFC boss gave an update on Conor McGregor’s potential return to the UFC
- White claimed that the Irishman will likely return to the octagon ‘next year’
UFC boss Dana White has revealed that Conor McGregor is expected to make his return to the organisation ‘next year’.
White, who was newly-instated as UFC CEO following the historic merger between the UFC and WWE, sat down with Talk TV host Piers Morgan on ‘Uncensored’ to discuss a number topics – such as McGregor’s potential return.
McGregor, 34, has not fought since July 2021, when he lost his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier after the Irishman suffered a serious leg break in the first round.
Since making a recovery from the injury, McGregor has featured throughout this year’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ series as one of the team’s coaches.
There had been expectations that ‘Notorious’ would face off against rival coach Michael Chandler once the season ended, however that bout has not come to fruition and now the UFC chief has provided an update on the matter.
UFC boss Dana White has revealed he expects Conor McGregor to return to the UFC ‘next year’
The Irishman has not fought in the UFC since breaking his leg in a bout in July 2021
Speaking to Morgan, White revealed: ‘He is back in the gym. He is training and yes, I expect to see Conor fighting next year’.
Confirmation that McGregor would not be fighting in 2023 came about in July, after he missed to window to re-enroll in the USADA drug testing pool.
‘Well, here is what happens Piers, you know this, I am sure you have seen this with colleagues and friends and people that you know,’ White continued.
‘Once a certain level of money is attained, to be the person that you were coming up, to be that hungry and work that hard and be that dedicated to the sport, or whatever craft it is you do, money changes everything, and Conor McGregor has made that kind of money.
‘It’s not a knock, it’s just a fact. When we sold the company in 2016, this was sort of like a Microsoft of fighting.
‘There were a lot of people that made a lot of money, and a lot of people left and they went and retired or moved on.
‘You have to have a certain type of drive to make that kind of money. And you have seen guys in this sport, when they make that kind of money, they will fight a lot less, like Conor has, or they go on losing streaks because you are not that same person once you get that kind of money’.
White admitted fears that the Irishman has lost the ‘hunger’ that got him to the top of the UFC
McGregor had been expected to fight Michael Chandler (R) but that hasn’t come to fruition
In 2021, McGregor was named as the highest-paid athlete in the world by Forbes after he accrued £144million ($180m) over the course of a calendar year.
Since the start of 2021, McGregor has fought just twice – both against Dustin Poirier – in the UFC and fell to defeat on both occasions.
‘Yes, the hunger and the drive is not the same,’ White explained. ‘Conor McGregor is a perfect example.
‘Everything that Conor McGregor ever dreamed of, and stuff he couldn’t possibly dream of in his life, he has right now, and it’s tough to be on a yacht all summer and then say, oh, I have to get back in the gym and start grinding again.
‘And again, it’s not a knock, it’s the way life is, especially in the fight business, especially in the fight business’.
McGregor was previously the champion of two UFC weight divisions but has not held a title since his victory over Eddie Alvarez back in 2016
In the interview with Morgan, the UFC chief also revealed how his eldest son ignored him for four days after he was filmed slapping his wife Anne during a row in a club in Mexico on New Year’s Eve.
‘I mean everybody was acting like there needs to be some big apology to the world,’ White said. ‘No, the apology was to my kids, for me and my wife.
‘Nobody wants to see their dumb drunk parents slapping each other on TMZ, do you know what I mean? Our oldest son didn’t talk to us for like four days, and the other kids had to deal with some stuff too. It’s embarrassing’.
Tune in to Talk TV at 8pm tonight to watch the exclusive interview with Dana White and Piers Morgan on Uncensored.
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