Dana White provided an update on when Conor McGregor will make his highly-anticipated Octagon return.
Over the past two years, McGregor has been working toward fighting again after suffering a severe leg injury against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. Although he’s fully recovered, the former two-division UFC champion hasn’t been approved by USADA, making him ineligible to return.
‘The Notorious’ hoped to receive an exemption from the drug-testing agency and fight before the end of 2023. Unfortunately, the possibility of that happening has decreased significantly.
During an interview with Piers Morgan, Dana White was asked about McGregor and had this to say:
“He’s back in the gym, he’s training. I expect to see Conor [McGregor] fighting next year.”
Since his blockbuster boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, ‘The Notorious’ has lost three of his last four UFC fights, with a first-round TKO win against Donald Cerrone separating defeats against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier x2.
Dana White discusses fighters losing motivation after becoming wealthy
Conor McGregor believes he will return to the Octagon and get back on track. Meanwhile, most of the MMA community believes McGregor isn’t the same fighter he was while holding two UFC titles.
During the same interview with Piers Morgan, Dana White had this to say about McGregor and other fighters who make a lot of money in MMA:
“Here’s what happens, Piers. You know this, I’m sure you’ve seen this with colleagues and friends and people you know. Once a certain level of money is obtained, to be the certain person you were when 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. Conor McGregor has made that kind of money.”
Dana White continued:
‘You’ve seen guys in this sport when they make that time of money, they’ll fight a lot less like Conor [McGregor] has, or they go on losing streaks because you are not that same person once you get that type of money.”
Once Conor McGregor returns, he’s expected to fight Michael Chandler. Earlier this year, McGregor and Chandler coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31, with the latter dominating most of the competition.
It’ll be intriguing to see if ‘The Notorious’ can flip the script when they meet in the Octagon and emerge victorious.
Watch the full video of Piers Morgan interviewing Dana White below: