It's been one year since Conor McGregor last fought, but UFC president Dana White is hopeful the Notorious One's sabbatical comes to an end soon.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, White said McGregor is "starting to ramp up his training" after breaking his leg in his last fight and hopes he can fight again by "the end of this year, early next year."
McGregor underwent surgery on July 11, hours after his fight with Dustin Poirier was stopped at the end of the first round when he tried to plant his left foot and his leg collapsed under him.
In a statement released by his agent, Audie Attar, doctors said they were "confident" McGregor would "make a full recovery" and they "anticipate his return to the Octagon."
Speaking to SevereMMA (h/t MMAFighting.com) in February), McGregor said doctors told him in April he would be allowed to spar again, but he didn't provide a concrete timeline to fight again.
"Day by day, I feel better," he said. "They’re telling me to just take it easy, but I feel I can go, so I just need to kind of pull the reins back on my own self, so that’s kind of what I’m doing."
White said he was looking at Michael Chandler as McGregor's next opponent but noted "we'll see what the landscape looks like when Conor gets back."
Chandler snapped a two-fight losing skid on May 7 with a second-round TKO victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 274.
Since defeating Jose Aldo to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion in December 2015, McGregor has a 3-4 record in his last seven fights. He has lost each of his last two bouts, both to Poirier.
In addition to his mixed martial arts career, McGregor dabbled in boxing for a showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. He lost the bout via TKO in the 10th round, but it was a massive financial success with 4.3 million pay-per-view buys.