Conor McGregor Will Fight in 2019 Despite Retirement, Dana White Says

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2018, file photo, Conor McGregor poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 229 mixed martial arts fight in Las Vegas.  Superstar UFC fighter McGregor has announced on social media that he is retiring from mixed martial arts. McGregor’s verified Twitter account had a post early Tuesday, March 26, 2019,  that said the former featherweight and lightweight UFC champion was making a “quick announcement.”(AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

Conor McGregor retired from mixed martial arts in March, but UFC President Dana White expects to see the 30-year-old star back in the Octagon before year's end.

When asked if it's safe to say McGregor will fight in 2019, White told TMZ Sports, "Yes." He added: "Conor is a competitor, man. He loves to fight. This is his passion in life."

McGregor last fought in October 2018, when he was defeated by Khabib Nurmagomedov via fourth-round submission at UFC 229. He was subsequently suspended six months and fined $50,000 for his role in the post-UFC 229 brawl

The Nurmagomedov clash marks McGregor's only UFC fight since 2016.

With a career record of 21-4-0, the fighter known as "The Notorious" appeared ready to be done with sport earlier this year:

Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA

Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!

Of note, he previously announced he would retire back in 2016 only to participate in a pair of fights later that year.

Now, it appears as though his latest retirement could be short-lived as well.

White declined to speculate as to who McGregor's next opponent could be, telling TMZ Sports that "after this weekend [at UFC 238], we might have some answers." White acknowledged, though, that McGregor has his sights set on a rematch with Nurmagomedov.

White made it clear that it is "impossible" for him to say if a rematch will happen until the scheduled bouts play out.