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- UFC president Dana White is not fazed about whether or not Conor McGregor returns to cage-fighting.
- White says that a McGregor return would be “awesome” but hints UFC will have other star athletes to build the company around.
- McGregor has not fought in UFC since 2016.
The UFC is unconcerned about whether or not star fighter Conor McGregor returns to the sport.
“If Conor McGregor fights next year, that’ll be awesome,” UFC president Dana White said on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed. “If Conor McGregor doesn’t fight, the UFC is going to go on.”
McGregor has not competed in UFC since his 2016 lightweight championship-winning victory over Eddie Alvarez.
He lost a boxing rules contest against Floyd Mayweather in August, 2017 and was expected to defend his lightweight belt, but there is currently little news on when the Irishman will return to the cage.
White signposted McGregor’s return in October, 2017 when he said a lightweight fight against interim champion Tony Ferguson “had to happen.“
The closest McGregor has gotten to a mixed martial arts fight was when he mounted a Bellator cage to celebrate a team-mate’s victory in November but ended up shoving a referee and arguing with Bellator officials. He later apologised for his meltdown.
The longer McGregor stays on the sidelines, the likelier UFC is to continue without him. White said over a month ago that McGregor may not be motivated to return now that he has collected $100 million for losing to Mayweather.
McGregor is undoubtedly the company’s star athlete but White has intimated that it may not be long before another talent takes his place at the top.
“I’ve been hearing this since 2003. ‘What are you going to do when Chuck Liddell’s gone? What are you going to do when Georges St-Pierre leaves? You’re in big trouble when Anderson Silva’s gone.’ And the list goes on and on.
“Last year was the best in the company’s history so we’re going to keep finding new talent and putting on the best fights in the world. That’s what we’re going to continue to do. With or without anybody.”