UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since defeating Eddie Alvarez to win the strap at UFC 205 in November of 2016.
The Irishman has hinted at a return to the action in the past, but has not only stated it again, but also now states that he was willing to step in as a late replacement to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.
McGregor mentioned all of this via a post on Instagram:
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™
The lightweight champion, if allowed to fight at UFC 222 by the promotion, would’ve filled a slot vacated by current UFC Featherweight Champion and one time McGregor opponent Max Holloway. Holloway had pulled out of the bout a few weeks back and was replaced by top five ranked featherweight Brian Ortega.
Another reason McGregor may have made this new claim about a return is the rumor that he’d be stripped of the UFC Lightweight Title in the lead up to a main event bout between UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Despite the claim that he is fighting again, one thing that McGregor neglected to mention is just when the fight would happen or whom it would come against.
Since McGregor posted the statement on Instagram about UFC 222, a plethora of responses have been issued by Frankie Edgar, his coach in Mark Henry and his agent in Ali Abdel-Aziz.
Edgar issued the following statement through Twitter:
This is the truth. My focus is on Ortega and they all can get it after. Anytime, anywhere, any weight class ------------ https://t.co/zUDeEa79Bk— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) February 22, 2018
Henry would make his feelings known through a post on Instagram:
When you bring up @frankieedgar name that's the perfect picture for you @thenotoriousmma. You ducked him 3 times in the past, FE and his manager @aliabdelaziz000 asked for Conors name specifically when Max went down ( but we knew you only take stylistically what is a good match for you and you ducked him 3x already) it's bad enough of crappy posts putting people down when you have never defended a title cut lines to titles and 90 % of the time fight people in your comfort zone. I agree Connor is an AMAZING AMAZING fighter and has transcended the game with his accent, personality, wit, incredible fighting style and power ( which beat a great and one of my own guys) intelligence and don't forget trashing people some of the BEST standup I've ever seen in mma and I really thought had a chance first 2 rds to bear mayweather. But to constantly sit on the sideline and talk about a man who always wants to fight and always and only the BEST guys, a man the UFC always trys to side track FE weather Mendes ( they were trying to protect you) or Yair or another young killer. A fighter who should be at 35 but fights his whole career heavier and doesn't cry about someone being bigger like you constantly did with a 55er. A fighter who doesn't make excuses when he losses like size or cheesecake he just takes it like a man and gives credit when is due. A fighter who even though gives up height range weight his entire career has never quit or been stopped. Last time I checked that's 4 for you now buddy. You will NEVER EVER have the heart of Frankie or integrity. It's soo soo simple if your dog crap post is true fight Frankie next. Weather it be mma or boxing. ( And I promise you he won't hammer fist on top your head he knows the rules). But YOU WON'T! @thenotoriousmma with @get_repost ・・・ 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 respe
Abdel-Aziz would take to TMZ Sports and issue his reply via a video:
MMA Fighting provided the following transcript of what Abdel-Aziz said, which is only a brief portion of the full video statement:
“Let me tell you about Conor McGregor. He’s like a prostitute, used to make high-dollar money, but she got old and nobody wanted her anymore. This f*cking guy. For three years, he did everything he can not to fight Frankie Edgar. He had so many opportunities. Now he wants to fight Frankie? That’s funny.”
There has been no response from the UFC Lightweight Champion yet to what Edgar, Henry and Abdel-Aziz have stated.