Maybe Conor McGregor isn’t retired from MMA after all.
In June, McGregor announced on Twitter that he’d “decided to retire from fighting” after not receiving an interesting fight offer from the UFC. Since then, he’s reiterated being finished, but that could soon change.
On Thursday, UFC president Dana White said he’s been in contact with McGregor about a potential return, although White declined to specify in what capacity.
“We’re actually working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year. He should be back next year,” White said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “I’m not saying he’s coming back to fight guaranteed, but we’re talking about some stuff.”
Later Thursday evening, White again was asked about McGregor and continued to speak in vague terms.
“I came up with an idea a couple days ago, and I reached out to him to see what he thought, and he was interested,” White told TSN. “So, we’re kicking some stuff around. It’s not done. When it’s done, I would love to share the idea with you when it’s ready to roll. It’s just an idea right now. Yeah, late 2020 or early 2021.”
White in recent weeks said he considered McGregor to be retired. What this means is anyone’s guess, but a McGregor return would figure to be a boost to the UFC, which has struggled to consistently put on quality cards during the coronavirus pandemic as fights have dropped off because of positive COVID-19 tests. It’s worth noting, however, that the UFC’s four pay-per-view prelims ratings on linear ESPN are up 30 percent.
Despite McGregor insisting he’s retired, the former UFC two-division champion recently shared that he’d been tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, meaning he’s left the door open to come back to the octagon.
McGregor’s return, however, could be hindered by legal troubles. Last week he was arrested and questioned in Corsica for an alleged “attempted sexual assault,” which McGregor and his management vehemently denied.