The boss has spoken.
While Conor McGregor is adamant that he will return to the Octagon on Jan. 18, UFC president Dana White insists that the UFC is not even close to signing a deal with the Irishman, according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
White did, however, admit that he wants ‘The Notorious’ to return in January.
Dana White, on Conor McGregor’s comments this morning regarding a return date of 1/18 in Las Vegas. “Yes, we are targeting that date for Conor’s return but no deals are even close to being signed.”
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 24, 2019
“Dana White, on Conor McGregor’s comments this morning regarding a return date of 1/18 in Las Vegas. ‘Yes, we are targeting that date for Conor’s return but no deals are even close to being signed,’” Okamoto posted on Twitter.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani also reports that the UFC is looking to book McGregor against Donald Cerrone or Justin Gaethje, with Gaethje being the No. 1 choice.
Conor McGregor announces at a press conference in Moscow this AM that he has agreed to return to action on Jan. 18 in. T-Mobile. He did not name the opponent. Fight isn’t signed. Two leading candidates are Cerrone and Gaethje. Cerrone is the frontrunner at this time, I’m told.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 24, 2019
McGregor, who has been inactive in the UFC for over a year, is ranked #3 in the lightweight rankings and #12 in the pound-for-pound rankings. ‘The Notorious’ hasn’t fought since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last year, and the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion feels a rematch is ‘inevitable’. Before that, however, McGregor would like to fight the winner of the upcoming ‘BMF’ title fight between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244.
“That [Jan. 18] will be the beginning of my season. I will then look to compete against the winner of Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal for the Bad Motherf*cker title. Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz, we are set to have the trilogy bout. We’ll see how that one goes, I feel Nate will get the better of that one and then we will contest the trilogy bout.”