Conor McGregor finally confirmed the news that fans were waiting to hear at the UFC 205 post-fight press conference.
The Notorious revealed that he'd be taking time away from the Octagon with his firstborn due in March, that was until his girlfriend Dee Devlin swiftly interrupted him and told him it was, in fact, May of 2017.
That led to speculation that the Irishman could go on to take off the whole of 2017, before making a triumphant return the following year, although by then, we’d surely have interim champions in the featherweight and lightweight divisions.
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However, UFC president Dana White has finally revealed that fans shouldn’t expect to see McGregor back in action before next summer, which means the rest of the divisions will have to continue without him.
Speaking to the LA Times, he said: “He won’t fight before May.
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“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.”
We all know the drawing power the likes of McGregor, and even Ronda Rousey bring to the table, managing to get the most casual of fans invested in the sport whenever they’re in action.
But White isn’t too worried about facing the prospect of a UFC without McGregor in the fold for a while.
He went on to add: “We’ve done this for 16 years, with a lot of big stars who wouldn’t fight or moved on – Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre.
“There’s not a day in this office I don’t get the question, ‘What are we doing 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.”
While McGregor will understandably be a significant loss to the company while he’s out, the show much go on, and there are plenty of other fighters and compelling matchups ready to fill that void.
Will Conor McGregor be a massive loss to the UFC? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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