Conor McGregor Promises Return, But Confusion Remains

Written by Tom Ngo
February 22nd, 2018

UFC Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor (pictured) is claiming that his fighting days are far from over.

The (former?) UFC lightweight champion addressed Dana White’s comments to TMZ Sports that he wasn’t sure if McGregor would ever compete again after scoring a reported $100 million payday to box Floyd Mayweather in August.

McGregor states that not only is he going to fight again, “Period,” but that he even offered to serve as a last-second substitute to face Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 on March 3 when featherweight champ Max Holloway abruptly withdrew with an injury.

However, McGregor says the UFC couldn’t meet his financial demands. “Notorious” didn’t specify how much he requested.

Here is what McGregor posted on his verified Instagram account Thursday:

I am fighting again. Period.
I am the best at this.
I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn’t enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need.
I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in.
On top of the fighting.
I am here.
It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here.
Yours sincerely,
The Champ Champ™

How much of McGregor’s post is true? Only he and White know.

How feasible is it that McGregor, who cut to 153 pounds in August’s TKO defeat to Mayweather and has been enjoying the fruits of his labor ever since, could make 145 pounds on one month’s notice without a proper training camp?

Even if he could make weight, how outlandish were his financial demands that the UFC’s owners, who dropped $4 billion for the company nearly two years ago, couldn’t meet them in order to bring their cash cow back into the mix?

Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto that “[McGregor’s] full a sh*t. He’s a liar. He should have fought Frankie two years ago.”

As far as McGregor’s intrigue of stepping in at the last minute to avoid “all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game,” that’s fully believable. As the UFC’s biggest superstar, nobody is pushed and pulled in as many pre-fight promotional directions as McGregor. Being able to avoid all the hoopla and merely step in the cage to fight would be a welcomed change of pace.

Nonetheless, McGregor’s not fighting at UFC 222 and Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will be competing for his (now-stripped?) lightweight belt at UFC 223.

Oh, and there’s that point. Why would McGregor be willing to return to action in a weight class that he hasn’t fought in for 26 months in March, and not be willing to come back to defend his lightweight belt against Ferguson or Nurmagomedov in April?

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