Even when Conor McGregor is out with a broken leg and hasn’t won a fight in the lightweight division since 2016, he is still in the title picture. That is MMA for you. *sigh*
On Monday, UFC president Dana White talked with The Underground, and of course, the topic of McGregor came up. White was asked what the possibility of the Irish superstar getting an automatic title shot when he returns. The UFC president said there are a lot of variables.
We’ll see what happens
“Well, it’s going to depend on who the champion is. The champion has some say in that, too,” White said. “Who is going to be the champ when Conor McGregor comes back and what do they want to do? If you look at Oliveira, if it’s still Oliveira by the time [McGregor] comes back, maybe he wants Conor. Who knows. We’ll see what happens.”
“There’s a lot of variables that have to come together for him to come back and fight. No. 1 is health and how’s his leg,” White said. “Once that’s 100 percent. Then, we’ll start to figure out where he goes. We have fights made all the way up until June 18 already. Once he’s 100 percent ready to go, we’ll get him figured out and see what’s what with the lightweight division. We’ll get him figured out.”
McGregor was seen at Bellator 275 in Ireland this past weekend supporting his teammates. In several interviews with media in attendance, he said he was looking to return in July. However, McGregor told Severe MMA that if current champion Charles Oliveria is wise, he would wait for him.
“If [Oliveira] is wise, he might give it another month or two,” McGregor said. “July seems OK for me. I can’t say too early, but July, if I’m sparring in April, May, June, July—I could slap the head off of most of these guys at the end of April.”
Of course, Islam Makhachev, who just moved up to No. 3 in the rankings, demanded that he get the next title shot after he just made easy work of Bobby Green.
The lightweight division is heating up like always. Oliveria defends his belt for the second time on May 7 at UFC 274.