When will Conor McGregor return to the Octagon? It’s a question that everyone has been asking since he took the lightweight belt off Eddie Alvarez with ease at UFC 205. Conor himself implied after the fight that he was going to take some time away from the UFC until his first child was born. And then UFC president Dana White confirmed McGregor was serious about not stressing out his pregnant girlfriend, and we wouldn’t see him fight until May at the earliest.
But now his coach Owen Roddy is giving quotes to Conor’s news website, The Mac Life, which make us wonder whether the Notorious One can handle taking half a year off.
“I don’t know,” Roddy said about McGregor taking some time off. “Obviously as Dana was saying, Dee gets kinda nervous and very worried when Conor’s fighting and her nerves would be gone, and obviously she doesn’t need to be under any stress when she’s due to have a baby.
“But on the flip side… Conor lives in the gym, and he loves to fight. If he’s not fighting, if he doesn’t have a fight scheduled, I just pity everybody in the gym that he’s sparring with. Because he’s going to be taking it out on them, and putting it on them.
“I don’t know. Nothing’s going to come about until the new year anyway, but who knows. It’s hard to say that he will or he won’t stay out for that long.”
You could hear Conor himself going back and forth on taking time off after his Madison Square Garden win. While he insisted he’d need ‘a real slice’ of the UFC before stepping back into the cage, he later said he didn’t have a scratch on him and was ready to go immediately. That doesn’t sound like someone who would turn down an interesting fight option.
Sadly, we don’t know if the UFC has it in them to offer him something interesting. They’ve been trying to get him to rematch Jose Aldo at 145 for a while now, and have little to offer at lightweight other than the relatively unknown Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Meanwhile, you get the feeling McGregor would prefer a superfight with Georges St. Pierre or a shot at a third belt against Tyron Woodley.
For some reason, we think the UFC would be against this, because it’s not business as usual. In that way, they may be glad they’ll have half a year to settle everything down and see how their business operates without McGregor on every major card. And so long as they come to the correct conclusion (the UFC needs Conor), maybe there’ll be less resistance every time McGregor wants to create a superfight out of thin air?