Everyone has been wondering if Conor McGregor will fight mixed martial arts again. Well, he has definitely said that he will… and added that he even tried to save the day at UFC 222, but was denied.
McGregor won the interim UFC featherweight tittle by defeating Chad Mendes in July of 2015. He then unified the interim and undisputed titles by knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds in December of 2015. He never defended the belt.
Before having to vacate the UFC featherweight title, however, McGregor fought and defeated Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight championship in November of 2016, becoming the first fighter in UFC history to hold two divisional belts simultaneously.
After relinquishing the featherweight title, he went on to pursue and eventually get a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor lost the fight, but won big at the bank.
The brash Irishman has yet to put the lightweight title on the line, having held it for 15 months without setting foot in the Octagon again, and appears on the brink of being stripped.
McGregor on Thursday said that he tried to get back in the Octagon to save UFC 222, which is slated for March 3 in Las Vegas, when UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway had to pull out of his title fight with Frankie Edgar due to an ankle injury. The UFC, he says, shot him down because of concerns about recouping the money it would take to put McGregor in the fight.
“I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need,” McGregor wrote on Instagram.
“I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in.”
Having apparently moved beyond McGregor as an option for UFC 222, officials instead booked women's featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino to headline the card in a defense against former Invicta FC champion Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar was also rebooked to remain on the UFC 222 fight card in the co-main event, putting his title shot at risk against fellow 145-pound contender Brian Ortega.
McGregor's attempt to jump in, however, wasn't simply a money grab. Despite all the speculation and rumors that constantly swirl around the Irishman, including doubts about him ever fighting again, he insists he will return to the Octagon.
“I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this,” McGregor declared.
“It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here. Yours sincerely, The Champ Champ (and, in true McGregor fashion, he brashly included a trademark on phrase ‘The Champ Champ'.”