Conor McGregor’s retirement may come to an end in early 2021.
The former two-division UFC champion said he was hanging up his gloves earlier this year after not receiving a compelling offer for his next fight after tearing through Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in January.
Since that time, McGregor has stuck to his guns about staying retired, but it appears the Irish superstar has started talking to the UFC again about a potential return.
“We’re actually working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year,” White revealed when speaking to ESPN on Thursday. “He should be back next year.
“I’m not saying he’s coming back to fight guaranteed, but we’re talking right now about some stuff.”
While rumors about his return to the UFC started almost immediately after he announced his retirement, McGregor’s manager Audie Attar confirmed to MMA Fighting on Thursday that conversations have taken place with the promotion.
Despite a declaration that he was calling it a career, McGregor was also just recently tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency as part of the UFC’s anti-doping program. Retired fighters can notify the UFC that they don’t intend to compete again, which will then result in their withdrawal from the anti-doping program. That didn’t happen in his case, so obviously he was always keeping his options open for a potential return.
Based on White’s statement, McGregor wouldn’t compete again until 2021 at the earliest. But his return would certainly be welcomed in the UFC, where he remains the biggest draw in the history of the sport.