Conor McGregor’s next fight: Dana White says it hinges on Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje

  • Tom Ward

Conor McGregor could skip the queue and fight for the title in his comeback fight, according to UFC president Dana White.

The Notorious is on course to return to the octagon in the summer, a year after he broke his leg in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier.

McGregor, 33, has not won a fight in almost two years but called for a clash with Charles Oliveira after ‘Do Bronx’ recently defended his title against ‘The Diamond’ at UFC 269 in December.

But White insists the Dubliner’s next fight will depend on a number of factors.

When asked about McGregor returning to action later this year, White told The Underground: “There’s a lot of variables that have to come together for him to come back and fight.

“No. 1 is health and how’s his leg, once that’s 100 per cent, then we’ll start to figure out where he goes.

“We have fights made all the way up until June 18 already. Once he’s 100 per cent ready to go, we’ll get him figured out and see what’s what with the lightweight division. We’ll get him figured out.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 10: Conor McGregor of Ireland walks through the arena before his lightweight bought against Dustin Poirier during UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3 at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Oliveira, 31, will defend his belt against Justin Gaethje on May 7 at UFC 274.

And White has hinted that McGregor could fight the winner of Oliveira’s clash with Gaethje, although that largely depends on the outcome of the fight.

He added: “Well, it’s going to depend on who the champion is.

“The champion has some say in that, too. Who is going to be the champ when Conor McGregor comes back and what do they want to do?

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“If you look at Oliveira, if it’s still Oliveira by the time [McGregor] comes back, maybe he wants Conor. Who knows. We’ll see what happens.”

However, it’s unlikely this will go down well with the rest of the division, with the likes of Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev patiently waiting their turn for a shot at the gold-plated strap.

Gaethje has previously said he will lose his mind if McGregor jumps the queue, telling TMZ: “I’ll burn it all down. What do you mean?

“I’ll f****** burn it down, that’s what I’d do. [McGregor] is so irrelevant. He has not won a fight since 2016 in the lightweight division.

“I’m ranked No. 1. I saw they updated the rankings. I’m No. 1 now. That feels pretty good.

“My whole life I’ve been working towards this. That is what’s next. If not, I’ll f****** burn it down.

“I’ll show up and start throwing dollies everywhere. I don’t know what the answer is.”

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