Conor McGregor's UFC return could be coming sooner than previously thought. UFC president Dana White said the promotion is in talks with McGregor to return to the Octagon sometime before the end of 2017.
"We're planning on it. He wants to and we want him to, so we'll see what happens," White told TMZ Sports of a potential McGregor bout later this year.
McGregor, 29, has not fought in the UFC since November 2016. He took a brief hiatus for a one-off boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August, which he lost via 10th-round TKO. The expectation has been for him to return to UFC at some point following that bout, but there are hurdles to overcome—most notably McGregor's desire for a partnership stake in his future fights.
“I was promoter on the Mayweather fight, and we’re in current negotiations,” McGregor told a crowd before the screening of his biopic in Ireland. “I ain’t stepping in that octagon again unless I’m part owner of the whole setup—I’m a promoter.”
McGregor earned $30 million guaranteed for his fight against Mayweather, and his overall purse was expected to reach nine figures. That was a substantial increase from his typical purse in UFC. He has made a total of $27 million on in-fight purses in his MMA career.
“Seeing this, it’s taking me back and making me realize, if I really, truly want to get back into the fighting—I’m in (the) negotiation stage,” McGregor said of the biopic. “Everyone’s trying to get me to do something for money, and that’s all the way up, and all the way down. That’s from the fight game, that’s talk, that’s what they’re trying to do."
There has been no formal confirmation of whom McGregor would fight should he return to UFC at some point.