This November will mark TWO YEARS since Conor McGregor — the sports most transcendent athlete — fought in the UFC. Yes, he fought Floyd Mayweather back in August 2017, but that was boxing. IF November 12 comes to pass and Conor McGregor hasn’t stepped back into the Octagon, the UFC will have been without it’s biggest ever star for 24 months. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like good business for either party to me.
However, just because McGregor hasn’t been fighting in the Octagon does not mean he hasn’t been busy, in fact, quite the opposite, as we’ve likely seen more of McGregor in the past year than we ever have before.
Whether it be the release of his documentary, his new clothing line, or his Brooklyn Bus Shenanigans, while McGregor may have been absent from the fight game, he has always remained the center of the attention. And according to the man himself, he was supposed to step back into the spotlight of the Octagon on May 12 if “something” didn’t come up:
“Made it to number 4 on the Forbes list this year. If I had of fought on the agreed May 12th bout in Rio De Janeiro, I would have surpassed Ronaldo and Messi to take 2nd place. Something came up however… ah well, still under 30,” McGregor said on Instagram.
But who was he going to fight? Nate Diaz for the third time? Floyd Mayweather with UFC rules? Nope, according to ESPN, the fight would have been against Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight championship.
It would have been an opportunity for McGregor to win a title in a third weight class — something no UFC fighter has done. Dos Anjos, also a former lightweight champ, ended up being scheduled instead for an interim 170-pound title bout with Colby Covington, though the fight later was moved from the Rio card to this Saturday in Chicago.
McGregor won the featherweight belt in December 2015 with a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo, then added the lightweight strap in November 2016 with a second-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez. Both belts were stripped — the featherweight later in November 2016 and the lightweight in April — after McGregor did not defend either. He initially took time off for the birth of his first child, then engaged in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather last August.
The “something” that came up and scuttled McGregor’s return presumably was the April bus attack that took place during a UFC 223 media day event in Brooklyn. Two fighters were injured by broken glass and three bouts were canceled. McGregor faces three charges of misdemeanor assault and one count of felony criminal mischief and is due in court June 14.
While it’s disappointing to know that McGregor’s own stupidity likely robbed us of the chance to watch him fight again, this news almost certainly confirms that he will make his return to the Octagon before 2018 comes to a close.