UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since defeating Eddie Alvarez to win the gold at UFC 205.
Dana White is the UFC President and he says that when McGregor finally does return to the UFC, it will come against UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson.
“What we have to do, is he needs to defend that [UFC lightweight] title. Nate [Diaz] isn’t even in the title picture. Nate’s ranked – that’s one of those fights that shouldn’t have been made in the first place, but it happened at that time and it was great, it was an amazing fight. People loved it, so somewhere down the line there’s a possibility for a trilogy, but right now he has to defend his title against Tony Ferguson. Tony Ferguson is the fight right now and is the move if he wants to come back. Whoever wins the [Edson] Barboza/Khabib [Nurmagomedov] fight while we’re trying to figure out this Conor mess, could end up fighting Tony Ferguson for the opportunity to fight Conor McGregor. So, we’ll see,” White said on Skip & Shannon: Undisputed.
Ferguson became the interim lightweight champion when he defeated Kevin Lee by third round submission in the main event of UFC 216.
White also admits that the UFC will move on if McGregor doesn’t want to fight, but will wait until after New Year’s to speak with the lightweight champion.
“If Conor McGregor doesn’t fight, the UFC will go on. There’s two different sides to this coin, there’s the one that you just said [about it being hard to wake up in the morning and get hit in the face when you’re so rich], then there’s the one where there is only many trips you can go on and there’s only so much stuff you can buy before you start to get bored and you want to get back in the game. So, I don’t know. I don’t really have a feel on what Conor wants to do. Conor’s rich, it’s the holidays, I’m sure his whole family has a great Christmas. We’ll see what the New Year brings,” says White.
McGregor himself recently teased a return to MMA, but didn’t give any specifics as far as a return date or potential opponent.