- Dana White admittedly couldn’t confirm anything yet about Conor McGregor’s UFC return
- The UFC boss insisted the company is not worried about whether or not “Notorious” will make a comeback
Despite the seemingly successful airing of The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 Episode 1, UFC president Dana White is not holding his breath for Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon. With that in mind, the much-awaited season finale fight between “Notorious” and Michael Chandler could still be botched.
It’s Hard to keep the Cards Together
Speaking to the media in his UFC Vegas 74 press conference, White remained optimistic about McGregor’s possible UFC return but also made it clear that he is not guaranteeing anything at this point.
“You can’t think like that,” White said of McGregor possibly not making a UFC return to face Chandler. “Listen, that’s the business we’re in. Anything is possible in this business. We were just talking about PFL and what happened to those guys, Anything is possible, you don’t know. You guys don’t know f**king [tiny bit] this much of what goes on behind the scenes and how hard it is to put all these fights together. This is a rough business to keep your fight cards together and pull this stuff off.”
The UFC boss also revealed that the promotion has nothing exceptional to offer to McGregor at this point as the former two-division champ is already gaining massive success outside of fighting. Hence, White admitted that it would all depend on what the Irish MMA superstar decided to do.
“First of all, Conor called me a couple days ago and loved the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter, and saying how happy he was that he was a part of it. And I think being here and the environment and everything else, he felt it again and felt like he wants to get back and fight,” White said.
“The one thing you guys have to understand is this kid has so much money,” he continued. “It’s like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] now. These guys got s**t-loads of money and it’s hard to you know, reel these guys back in and get them fired up to get in and fight.”
Nobody is bigger than the UFC
When asked if he is now concerned about McGregor not committing to a UFC return, White insisted that it has never been the case. According to White, stars will come and go but the UFC will always be there to build a new brand of fighters and that’s how it works.
“I never get concerned,” White said of McGregor’s situation. “We have a massive roster of people that want to come in and people that are ready to fight and people that want to be Conor McGregor, and be at that level. It’s like, for the last 20 years everybody said, ‘Oh my God, what are you guys going to do when Chuck Liddell retires? You guys are f**ked. Oh my God. GSP. Anderson Silva.’ This and that. This is a professional sport. People come in here, they achieve great things, and they retire. You can never worry about that type of stuff. It is what it is. It’s part of the game. It’s my job and my team’s job to find new talent and build them and take them to that level.”
To this day, there is no official date and location yet for the McGregor vs. Chandler bout. Regardless of the buzz, Chandler is confident that “Notorious” will be all-in on making a UFC comeback before the current year ends.