UFC President Dana White said he believes Conor McGregor will return to mixed martial arts after his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August.
"I think we will [see him]. He wants to fight twice this year," White said during an appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter when asked if he believes McGregor will return to the UFC.
Mayweather announced Wednesday that his long-rumored boxing match with McGregor will take place Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
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McGregor, 28, will be boxing professionally for the first time. The reigning UFC lightweight champion, who is the only UFC fighter in history to hold two titles concurrently, has not fought since defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York.
A potential return to the Octagon is likely dependent on how McGregor fares against Mayweather. He opens as a plus-500 underdog, per OddShark, in his quest to halt Mayweather's search for a perfect 50-0 career record.
"I don't know what it means for UFC," White said on SportsCenter (h/t Steven Marrocco of MMAjunkie). "I've been saying this for a long time: Conor McGregor is a guy who's done a lot of good things over here for the sport and for the company, and he wanted this.
"And obviously, the fans wanted this too. Everywhere I go, it's the only question people ask me now. At the end of the day, my job is to make fights fans want to see."
McGregor and the UFC came to terms on a split for his side of the purse in May. After earning $34 million last year, per Forbes, McGregor could wind up tripling that amount for the Mayweather bout alone. Given the stature of the two guys involved, the purse of Mayweather-McGregor may wind up challenging Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao.
That could be what keeps McGregor out of the UFC going forward. If he makes enough money and decides he's done being punched in the face for a living, it would be hard to blame him if he walked away from the sport forever.