UFC president Dana White says that he has seen the ‘real’ Conor McGregor recently, as the Irishman prepares for his upcoming fight against Dustin Poirier.
McGregor has not appeared in the Octagon since January of last year, when he defeated Donald Cerrone via a first-round TKO, and has announced his retirement from the sport three times in the last five years.
That has led to many questions about whether ‘Notorious’ still retains the same hunger and desire as he did during his 15-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC, but White has pointed to several text messages sent by McGregor that prove he is still as motivated as ever.
Speaking to ESPN, via the Daily Mirror, White explained: “The questions are always, ‘This guy is so rich, how hungry is he?’
“There’s nothing more exciting or fun than a motivated Conor McGregor, when his head is the right place and you can tell when he is and when he isn’t, and right now, he’s in.
“My conversations with Conor, I know when the real Conor is here and the other Conor is here, and believe me when I tell you, the real Conor is here.
He’s hitting me up and asking me questions about the layout of the arena, the walk-in, all these types of things that he’s interested in knowing about right now, he’s all in on this thing.
“The way this kid is right now, mentally, physically, emotionally, this kid is on and ready to fight.”
The McGregor vs Poirier fight will be the second time the two men have faced off, with the former having secured victory back in 2014 with another first-round TKO.
Poirier has gone from strength to strength since that fight, however, with notable victories over Eddie Alvarez, Dan Hooker and Justin Gaethje.
The winner of the fight could be set up for a clash against Khabib Nurmagomedov, but only if he can be convinced to come out of retirement, after he chose to call time on his career following his victory over Gaethje in October.
However, White is still keen to see one of his prized assets, who still technically holds the UFC lightweight championship, make a return to the sport, with a meeting between the two planned in Abu Dhabi this month to discuss the Russian’s future plans.
The UFC president wants McGregor to take him on, but believes the Irishman can push for titles once again regardless of who he fights.
“I would love to see him focus on what he can do here in the UFC, whether that’s take another shot at the title against Khabib or fight for the title against somebody else if Khabib retires, and defend that title,” he said.News Now - Sport News