Conor McGregor always has options. As possibly the biggest attraction in all combat sports, the Irish superstar will make his return to action at UFC 257 on January 23. after a lackluster 2020 saw him compete just once throughout the year.
With no fight booked, McGregor actually pulled out, but then he began to provoke a possible boxing match against former multi-weight world champion Manny Pacquaio. While both sides admitted that the talks had begun, nothing really came to fruition, although McGregor always promised a return to boxing after spending nearly 10 rounds with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Dana White wants McGregor to focus on fighting in the UFC
With a fight against Dustin Poirier already on the books to begin in 2021, UFC President Dana White, has been impressed by the kind of discipline McGregor has shown as he prepares for his return. That could also translate to McGregor staying as busy this year as he wanted to be in 2020, but White hopes his focus stays on his main occupation in mixed martial arts rather than trying to cross over for another boxing match.
The way this boy is now mentally, physically and emotionally, I mean this boy is ready to fight. I’d love to see him focused on what he can do here in the UFC. Whether it’s taking another shot for that title against Khabib Nurmagomedov or fighting for the title against someone else if Khabib retires and defends that title.
“A boxing match with any of these guys, those things will always be there. You are the absolute best in the world right now in MMA and the time is now. Not getting any younger. I would love to see you do it here for the next year. If you want to fight one of these boxers, do it next year. That fight will always be there.
When McGregor fought Mayweather he was really lightning in a bottle with both athletes coming together for a fight that produced one of the best-selling pay-per-view events of all time.
Since that time, McGregor has consistently hinted at a return to boxing, but nothing has ever been reserved.
White does not rule out the fact that it could happen in the future, but he knows that the work that went into making McGregor vs. Mayweather was truly a special event for that time and place.
«That was the perfect storm. Everything fit perfectly with Floyd. It was fun. It was a fun thing to do, but kind of done for me.
Beyond the Pacquiao fight, McGregor has also been invited to score a rumored eight-figure payday if he wanted to trade hands with YouTube celebrity Jake Paul. White previously shut down his interest in promoting any fight like that and is not changing his tone just for the money attributed to him.
«I told you a few weeks ago in the fight, that there are many fights that could be made. I understand that it could make money. You have people running around talking things all the time. It’s not really what I do. Poirier vs. McGregor, that’s what I door”.