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04th Apr 2018

Dana White says Conor McGregor will definitely return this year

Good news all round

Ben Kiely

There’s good and bad news for Conor McGregor fans.

At the official UFC 223 pre-fight press conference, Dana White managed to give answers that satisfied both the fans and detractors of Conor McGregor.

Let’s start with the good news. The UFC president claims that we won’t have to wait long to see ‘the Notorious’ return to the Octagon. In fact, he enthusiastically screamed into the mic that the biggest superstar in the sport will fight again before the year’s end.

Considering McGregor hasn’t had an MMA fight since UFC 205 in November 2016, this will be music to fans’ ears.

“Conor’s coming back this year. 100% he will fight this year. We’ll see how this thing plays out and we’ll go from there.”

The Good/Bad news (depending on your perspective)

While White had already confirmed that McGregor will be stripped once UFC 223’s headliner begins, he seemed to have an aversion of actually saying in clear English that his belt will be taken away. It was Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting that managed to get him to say it by asking about the fate of Tony Ferguson’s interim title.

“There’s no stripping. We’re not stripping Tony Ferguson. Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped. The only one that’s losing the belt here is Conor. Conor’s losing the belt. These two (Holloway and Nurmagomedov) are fighting for the belt.”

That’s that. There is only room for one king of the mountain. Either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Max Holloway will be the undisputed champion on April 7. McGregor will be beltless.

Helwani seemed proud of all that grinding finally paying off.