Conor McGregor is set to return to the UFC in September, according to UFC President Dana White.
Speaking on FS1’s UFC St. Louis post-fight show on Sunday, White indicated that McGregor’s current plans are for a September return and unless that changes very soon he will be stripped of the title.
“Conor has said he’s thinking about coming back in September,” White said. “If he comes back in September, that’s almost two years (without a defence). That can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything that he’s done for this company – everybody knows that, I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
“You do Khabib vs. Tony, we’re working on that fight now, and if and when Conor comes back, he would get the first crack at the title.”
Asked that if that meant McGregor might be stripped of the belt, White said “Absolutely,” meaning he’d return to the Octagon as a challenger rather than as champion. Watch the extract in full below and skip to the 3 minute 30 mark in the video for the quotes.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The Irishman hasn’t fought in the UFC since he snatched the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in November 2016. Since then, Tony Ferguson has become the interim champion and Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov has established himself in many people’s minds as the division’s best.‘The Notorious’ seems in no rush to return despite being called out by Ferguson and others, with his promoters seemingly prepared for him being stripped.
McGregor stars on EA sports UFC 3, which has an exciting new career mode feature. Find out more about that here.