Former two-weight UFC champion, Conor McGregor has claimed that he will be challening for undisputed lightweight gold in his Octagon return from injury next year — despite finding himself in the midst of a two-fight losing skid. 

McGregor, 33, last featured in the headlining bout of UFC 264 back in July — suffering a catastrophic fracture of his left tibia in an opening round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier in the pair’s trilogy rubber match.

Undergoing a surgical procedure the following morning, McGregor was diagnosed with a fractured left tibia. And is expected to be sidelined until the summer of next year at the very earliest. 

During his time away from the Octagon, McGregor has been linked with pairings against the likes of former opponents, Nate Diaz, and Max Holloway, as well as potential returns opposite a slew of high-profile contenders such as Jorge Masvidal, Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, and Rafael dos Anjos.

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Conor McGregor insists he will fight for UFC lightweight gold next despite recent losing skid

However, despite the consistent links against returns against fellow contenders, McGregor insists that he will be challenging for lightweight gold in his Octagon return — regardless of who is sporting the undisputed title.

Hi lads, here goes…” Conor McGregor tweeted in response to an ESPN MMA article that suggested potential opponents for his return. “Clicks and the like. Your boss and what not (sic). The Mac. Santy Claus. I’m facing whoever the f*ck has that LW (lightweight) title next. Deal with it. Take off your goggles and mark the trilogy “unfinished”. Deal with that too. The rest mentioned, after this. Deal. With. It.

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July’s opening round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Poirier came as his second consecutive defeat for the first time in his professional career, and came as his third loss at lightweight from four outings at the weight class in the promotion.

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Twice previously challenging for lightweight gold, McGregor became the first two-weight gold holder held simultaneously in the promotion back in November 2016 with a dominant second round knockout win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. 

Stripped of the title due to inactivity, McGregor returned to the Octagon at UFC 229 in October 2018 in a bad-blooded fourth round neck crank loss to arch-rival, the now-retired former lightweight kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

Currently sitting at the #9 in the official lightweight rankings, McGregor’s most recent professional victory came in the form of a 40-second high-kick and strikes knockout victory over former lightweight title challenger, Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January of last year in a welterweight headliner. 

The current undisputed lightweight titleholder is Brazilian submission ace, Charles Oliveira, who is slated to headline UFC 269 on December 11. in his first attempted title defense against the aforenoted former interim gold holder, Poirier. 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.