For many fans, UFC without Conor McGregor is not the same.
For many fans missing the Irishman, the latest news from Dana White will come as a huge relief, although not much of a surprise.
The Irishman’s last venture into the Octagon came in January, where he swiftly dispatched Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in just 40 seconds; not quite the fight many fans stayed up until the early hours were expecting.
McGregor, the former two-weight world champion, announced his third retirement in four years in June after growing frustrated with the lack of fights being made available to him.
Despite UFC president Dana White confirming that the retirement was indeed legitimate, it may not be a surprise to many fans that McGregor’s ‘retirement’ appears to be even shorter than his fight with Cerrone.
It was confirmed yesterday that McGregor has held talks with UFC over a potential comeback in 2021, with White confirming they are “working on some fun stuff with Conor for the start of next year."
The UFC president did dampen the mood slightly by clarifying: “I’m not saying he’s coming back to fight guaranteed.”
Regardless of this fact, it is hard not to be excited by the potential return of the most popular UFC fighter in history.
The potential of a return will also excite UFC themselves, with McGregor having been part of five of the top 10 pay-per-view fights in the sport's history.
Never far from a controversy, even on a family holiday in France, the Irishman’s return could be delayed by legal trouble.
McGregor spent two days in custody for indecent exposure in Corsica last week, before being released without charge and denying all allegations.
Regardless of the lack of clarity in what capacity McGregor will be returning, his return can only be a good thing for UFC after a slump in ratings during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, fans will have to keep waiting to find out if a rematch of his brutal feud with Khabib Nurmagomedov is on the cards.
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