UFC President Dana White stated this week that Conor McGregor is eager to get back in the Octagon after his loss to Nate Diaz last weekend and could return for UFC 200 in July.
Jeff Cain of MMAWeekly.com passed along comments White made during an appearance on ESPN Radio's Russillo & Kanell on Tuesday. He made it clear the details are still being worked out, but the featherweight champion wants to take part in the milestone event.
"He wants to fight again as soon as possible," White said. "He wants to jump back in there, and he wants to fight again. We're working on who the next opponent will be."
He added: "In this business, it has to burn. It has to be a desire inside you to fight. [McGregor] is a perfect example. This guy's going to turn around and fight on [UFC] 200 again."
The loss to Diaz, which came via submission in the second round of their welterweight clash, marked McGregor's first defeat since joining UFC in 2013. He also become one of the promotion's top draws during his seven-fight winning streak thanks to his brash, outspoken style.
BJ Penn highlighted some potential opponents for the Irish star's return to action:
BJ Penn @bjpenndotcom
Rematch with Jose Aldo? Frankie Edgar? Rafael dos Anjos? What do you want to see? #UFC200 @josealdojunior https://t.co/uZly8FauPY2016-3-8 21:45:01
Regardless of the choice that's ultimately made, the next bout is perhaps the most important of McGregor's career. The biggest question after a fighter of his caliber loses is whether they can bounce right back or if it's a sign of a bigger letdown ahead.
Coming right back at UFC 200 and successfully defending his featherweight belt in dominant fashion should get him on track again. However, another loss would raise questions about his staying power in terms of being a mainstream attraction for the promotion.
McGregor clearly wants to get out there as soon as possible to prove himself once again.