Dana White casts doubt over Conor McGregor's UFC future

‘These guys have got S***LOADS of money’: Dana White casts doubt over Conor McGregor’s UFC future as he admits difficulty in ‘reeling’ the mega-rich star back into fighting… with fans still waiting on date for Michael Chandler clash

  • McGregor is expected to return in 2023 after two years out of the octagon
  • But his comeback fight against Chandler is still yet to be officially confirmed
  • White says it is difficult to tempt a man of McGregor’s wealth back into fighting 

Dana White admits Conor McGregor’s vast wealth makes it difficult to ‘reel’ him back into the octagon as fans await confirmation of his comeback bout against Michael Chandler.

McGregor, the only fighter in UFC history to reign as champion in two weight classes simultaneously, is edging closer towards an MMA return after spending two years out of the sport.

The Irishman’s last appearance came all the way back in July 2021, when he suffered a gruesome leg break during his rematch with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.

After undergoing a lengthy rehabilitation period he is now poised to lock horns with Chandler later this year, although a date and venue for the fight is still yet to be confirmed.

A key reason for that is that McGregor left the USADA drug testing pool following his leg break two years ago. Regulations state that fighters must provide two clean tests across a six-month period before they are clear to fight again, and it is still unclear whether he has re-entered the pool.

Conor McGregor’s vast wealth makes it tough to tempt him back into fighting, says Dana White

McGregor is set to return against Michael Chandler (right) after two years out, having pitted their wits against each other as coaches on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter

But there is still no official confirmation of the fight, with McGregor seemingly yet to re-enter the USADA drug-testing pool

While he is not yet competing again himself, McGregor has been filming the latest series of The Ultimate Fighter alongside Chandler, with the pair pitting their wits against one another as coaches on the reality competition.

And White says filming the show has reignited a fire within McGregor despite admitting difficulty in tempting him back into fighting. 

‘First of all, Conor called me a couple days ago and loved the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter, and saying how happy he was to be a part of it,’ he said. ‘And I think being here and part of the environment and everything else, he felt it again and felt like he wants to get back to fight.

‘The one thing you guys have to understand is this kid has so much money. It’s like Khabib now. These guys [have] got s***loads of money and it’s hard to reel these guys in and get them to get in and fight.’ 

McGregor is in desperate need of a victory over Chandler to revive his UFC career after suffering four defeats in his last seven contests.

After bursting onto the scene with a seven-fight win streak under White’s promotional banner, he was brought crashing back down to earth in a submission defeat against Nate Diaz in March 2016.

After prevailing on points in the rematch five months later, McGregor became a two-division champion by wiping out Eddie Alvarez in November of that year. Yet following a crossover boxing event with Floyd Mayweather in 2017, he has only claimed one win in four bouts – a spectacular knockout of Donald Cerrone – while suffering losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier twice.

White admits ‘reeling’ McGregor back into the octagon is proving a difficult task these days

Another slip-up against Chandler could spell the end of his fighting career, but White is not fearing the day his biggest cash-cow departs.   

‘I never get concerned,’ the UFC president said. ‘We have a massive roster of people that want to come in and people that are ready to fight and people that want to be Conor McGregor. And be at that level.

‘It’s like for the last 20 years everybody said, “Oh my God, what are you guys going to do when Chuck Liddell retires? You guys are f****d. Oh my God. GSP. Anderson Silva. This and that.”

‘This is a professional sport. People come in here, they achieve great things and they retire. You can never worry about that type of stuff. It is what it is. It’s part of the game. And it’s my job and my team’s job to find new talent and build them.’ 

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