Despite not stepping foot inside the octagon, it has been a rollercoaster past few weeks for UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
From a retirement bluff and subsequent UFC 200 snub, to wild speculation about a "mega-fight" with boxing great Floyd Mayweather, The Notorious One has never been far from the headlines.
However, after weeks of rumours, we could finally be nearing some kind of tangible announcement. This according to UFC president Dana White.
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Speaking during an appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter on Wednesday, White confirmed that he and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta were set for a dinner meeting with McGregor in Los Angeles that evening. There, White believed, the trio would be able to agree upon the Irishman's next UFC bout:
"Today, I'm flying to Los Angeles. So Lorenzo and I are having dinner with Conor McGregor,” White explained yesterday. “So tonight, at like 10 o'clock, I’ll have a lot more answers on the Conor McGregor situation.”
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"He will not be in UFC 200. Not at all. That ship sailed,” White reiterated. “But we’ve put that behind us, and we’re in a good place with Conor, and we’re looking to make his next fight. We should have that done tonight.”
Now Thursday morning, and with that meal presumably having been and gone, UFC fans will be hoping that today is the day they finally learn what is next for McGregor.
Ignoring the Floyd Mayweather speculation - a story that the Irish fighter himself has done much to promote - the growing consensus has been that McGregor's return to the octagon would be at the UFC 202 pay-per-view.
With Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley and Demetrious Johnson vs Wilson Reis expected to co-headline the UFC 201 PPV, an August return at 202 makes the most sense. The opponent, of course, would most certainly be Nate Diaz in a rematch of the UFC 196 bout earlier this year.
There is, though, the chance that McGregor met with White and Fertitta to inform them that he really is pursuing a big money boxing match against Mayweather. Only yesterday, video footage emerged showing him sparring with a former boxing champion in a Los Angeles gym.
While such a fight might create the headlines and attract curious onlookers, what UFC fans and White want to see is the 27-year-old's return to competitive action in their organisation.
Hopefully, it is now only a matter of hours until we learn just where and when that will take place.
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