UFC president Dana White has revealed he expects Conor McGregor to fight in the summer. The former two-division champion is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on a total of three outings this year.
And earlier this week, ‘The Notorious’ hinted his second outing of 2020 is in the works.
After going on a blistering rant, in which he took aim at his divisional rivals, McGregor claimed he’d next make the walk to the cage in July.
He tweeted: “See you in July.”
McGregor’s tweet, coupled with his recent “sign the contract” message to Nate Diaz, led many to believe his next outing is indeed in the pipeline.
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Ireland’s first UFC champion has set his sights on a showdown with newly-crowned interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who claimed the title last weekend with a fifth-round TKO victory over Tony Ferguson.
“It’s me and Justin next as Khabib [Nurmagomedov] is the biggest bottle fighter in the game,” McGregor tweeted on Monday. “Guarantee it.”
At this moment in time, White has no intention of pulling the plug on the lightweight title unification fight between Nurmagomedov in Gaethje in favour of a McGregor vs Gaethje matchup.
But the UFC chief does expect to have McGregor matched up and back in the Octagon before the fall.
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“Obviously Gaethje and Khabib is going to happen, looks like that’s going to happen in September,” White said during an appearance on Tim & Sid. “And we’ll figure out what’s next for Conor.
“Conor will probably fight this summer, then you have [Gaethje-Khabib] fight in September, and then that will line up a fight up for the winner.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, McGregor’s second outing of his 2020 “season” will more than likely take place behind closed doors.
Staging a McGregor fight behind closed doors will see the UFC miss out on a significant amount of revenue from ticket sales, which White recently lamented.
“Conor’s been ready to fight for a while,” White said during an appearance on the Jim Rome Show. “He’s in shape. He’s ready to go.”
“First of all, ‘Fight Island’ is going to be very important in any of these fights that are happening with people from outside the country. It kills me to do a fight with Conor without fans. Kills me. This guy’s doing almost $20million gates.”
McGregor, 31, returned from a 15-month layoff in January in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas, where he locked horns with Donald Cerrone.
The Irishman’s comeback fight, which took place in the welterweight division, didn’t last long as he demolished ‘Cowboy’ in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.
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