Dana White Reveals He Has No Opponent In Mind For Conor McGregor Comeback

Conor McGregor
Mandatory Credit: Lucas Noonan - Bellator MMA

UFC president, Dana White still remains optimistic that an early fall return for former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor is possible, however, as far as opponents for the Dubliner’s Octagon comeback is concerned, White insists he has no welcoming party in mind as of yet.

Conor McGregor, who most recently featured back in July of last year in a headlining clash with former interim lightweight titleholder, Dustin Poirier, suffered a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss in the pair’s rubber match trilogy bout, after fracturing his left tibia. 

Conor McGregor recently shared footage of him returning to sparring

In the time since, Conor McGregor has undergone a surgical procedure in order to address his tibia fracture, and recently returned to boxing training and sparring at Crumlin Boxing Club in the capital. 

READ MORE:  Dana White Unhappy With Moreno-Figueiredo Post-Fight Interaction: 'That Was F*****g Rude'

Initially targeting a summer comeback against undisputed lightweight best, Charles Oliveira, Conor McGregor then switched his attention to reigning welterweight kingpin, Kamaru Usman, however, either pairing from the get-go for the 33-year-old appear less than likely at the time of publication. 

Recently, upcoming UFC 274 main card feature, Michael Chandler has thrown his name into the proverbial hat to share the Octagon with the former duel-weight champion in his return, but must first get past former interim gold holder, Tony Ferguson.

Providing another update on the expected fall return for McGregor, White claimed, however, that he is unsure whom the Crumlin native would share the Octagon with, in his immediate return to active competition.

“I literally have nothing for him (Conor McGregor) right now, he’s not ready,” Dana White said during a recent interview with The Sun. “The whole landscape could change over the summer. We’ll see when he’s ready to fight. And when the doctor gives him 100 percent clearance, we’ll start looking at possible opponents.”

READ MORE:  Geoff Neal becomes first man to KO Vicente Luque in bloody back-and-forth - UFC Vegas 59 Highlights

“We’re looking at early fall if everything goes right,” Dana White elaborated on a Conor McGregor return. “If his leg heals right and he gets the clearance to really start training, then possibly early fall.” 

Without a victory since a January 2020 knockout win over Donald Cerrone, McGregor was also recently urged to take a similar type of “warm-up” fight for his return to active competition by UFC color commentator, Joe Rogan – rather than sharing the spotlight with Auchi standout, Usman next. 

“If Conor (McGregor) wants the most chance of success, I would say fight a guy who is a little below championship level,” Joe Rogan said. “Maybe a guy on the come-up, who Conor has an advantage over, but it’s still a competitive fight. Give him a test, but don’t put him in there right away with (Kamaru) Usman.”

READ MORE:  Bellator 286 - Patricio Pitbull Defends Title Against Adam Borics, A.J. McKee Makes 155lb Debut Against Spike Carlyle

“I think, honestly, when boxers come back from a long layoff and they come back from a loss, one thing that boxers do that’s smart is they have a tune-up fight,” Joe Rogan continued. “I think there’s a reason why they’ve been using tune-up fights forever like astute managers. They know you’ve got to knock the dust off and you’ll be better in the next performance. To jump fight into a Dustin Poirier or right into, name it, Michael Chandler, like right into a guy who’s the elite of the elite.”

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.