Dana White reveals timeline for Conor McGregor to return to the UFC
Conor McGregor has been one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster, but the lightweight and featherweight champion is finally taking a break.
McGregor hinted that he would be out of action for an extended period while awaiting the birth of his first child in May, but now UFC president Dana White has also confirmed the Irishman’s absence for the next several months.
According to White, McGregor is not only taking time off for himself, but also for his girlfriend Dee Devlin so she’s not burdened with the stress of another fight while she’s dealing with her first pregnancy. McGregor has also been one of the most active fighters on the roster with four bouts in the last 11 months — all of them scheduled for five rounds.
“He won’t fight before May,” White told the LA Times. “His girl gets super stressed out when he fights. He doesn’t want her having any of that stress while she’s pregnant.
"He’s good. He should take time off. He’s been fighting nonstop. Nothing wrong with him taking time off. It’s good for him and her and it’s good for the baby.”
White didn’t address McGregor’s other demand before fighting again, which was receiving some sort of ownership stake in the UFC after his wildly successful run in 2015 and 2016.
McGregor said he wanted to sit down with the new owners from WME-IMG to discuss his future before booking anymore fights in the Octagon. When or where that might happen remains to be seen.
There’s little doubt McGregor’s absence through the first half of 2017 will probably hurt the UFC’s bottom line, but White doesn’t sound too stressed about it.
While McGregor’s presence virtually prints money at the box office and on pay-per-view, White promises that the UFC will endure the two-division champion taking some much deserved time off.
“We’ve done this for 16 years, with a lot of big stars who couldn’t fight or moved on – Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre,” White said. “There’s not a day in this office I don’t get the question, ‘What are we going to do about this guy?’ Every day I turn around, I’ve got a reporter saying we’ve peaked.
“If I listened to any of that — we probably would be done."