Conor McGregor, a UFC lightweight champion may not have an official date to end his 15-month hiatus from the Octagon, but the Notorious appears to be getting close.
McGregor revealed via his Instagram post on Thursday that he offered his name as a last-minute opponent for Frankie Edgar on March 3 after featherweight champion Max Holloway forced out of UFC 222 with an injury.
Frankie Edgar camp in return had disputed Conor McGregor’s statement through manager Ali Abdel-Aziz. The former lightweight champ spoke up about the never-to-be fight to Ariel Helwani on recent episode of The MMA Hour.
“I think if it was real, Dana would’ve called me personally,” Edgar told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “He’s done before. With something like that, Dana would’ve called me personally, and he didn’t, so I have to think that it wasn’t real.”
“I don’t know, I think Conor’s just being Conor, man,” he added. “He’s the best at it, right? He’s the best at making news and staying relevant. I don’t mean relevant, he’s the most popular guy in our sport, this and that, but staying in the news cycle. He does it better than anybody, except maybe Floyd Mayweather.
“I’m not surprised by it, and I’m not getting sidetracked by it because it doesn’t matter. It’s non-news to me. Because the news is I’m fighting a guy who fights in the UFC right now, Brian Ortega.”
McGregor’s claims were quickly dismissed by Abdelaziz, who branded the UFC’s lightweight champion a ‘liar.’
When conor called the ufc he asked them create a 165lb belt. He thinks @danawhite was born yesterday. This is fact. Waiting for response Mr. Helwani. #BeefIsReal
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) February 22, 2018
And in a tweet responding to MMA Fighting’s story about his comments on McGregor, Abdelaziz claimed the Irishman has asked the UFC to create a 165lbs division. Edgar found this a bit odd, which made him cast more doubts.
“I mean, come on, there is no 165-pound belt. You know what I’m saying?” Edgar said. “I want to fight on the moon. You know what I mean? Come on.”
“He doesn’t want to defend his own belt. What, he wants to fight me? I mean, hey, that’d be great. That’d be great for me. Let’s be real. I’m not scared to fight anybody. Come on, I’ve been doing too long to be scared to fight anybody. I mean, if anything, that would be very good for me, to fight Conor McGregor.”
“I would’ve fought him in any weight class, to be honest with you”
McGregor hasn’t fought since defeating Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205, a card which saw him become the promotion’s first simultaneous two-weight world champion.
UFC 222 is set to go down this weekend on March 3, Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega co-headlining and Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya headlining the main event.