Conor McGregor has fought just one time in the past three years, but says it’s not him refusing to fight. The Irishman says the UFC is “for whatever reason” holding him back.
The last time McGregor set foot in the Octagon, he lost via a fourth-round submission to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. There have often been rumors of fights coming together, and he has frequently done some self matchmaking on social media. Now, more than a year since fighting Nurmagomedov, McGregor is still on the sidelines awaiting a fight.
He said during a recent press conference in Ukraine that he has offered the UFC options for his return, but insists they keep putting him off.
“I was trying to get the Dec. 14th card, for whatever reason they’ve been holding me back. I’m giving them dates, I’m saying I want to fight this date, this date, this date, this date in a row, and we had opponents selected and everything and they’re just making it very difficult for me for whatever reason,” McGregor explained.
One of the most recent bouts that McGregor appeared excited for, as did fans, was a bout with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, who said he would put off his drop to bantamweight to face McGregor at any weight.
UFC president Dana White immediately shot down the idea, saying “it made no sense.”
McGregor insists that he tried to make the Edgar bout a reality, even offering to fight for free.
“I even offered for the Frankie Edgar bout to donate my purse to charity,” McGregor said. “Because they were saying we won’t make enough money on the Frankie fight and I was like, I don’t care, don’t worry about me, give my purse to charity.
“But for whatever reason it’s being made difficult. Like I said, we’re almost there. It’s never easy with this crowd.”
Tiring of sitting on the sidelines, McGregor appears ready to sidestep the UFC and do a charity bout next. He did so earlier this year, taking a boxing match for charity at the club where he used to train boxing in his younger days.
“I’m kind of in a position where I’m attempting to set up a charity event. I’ve done this before in my hometown, but I done it in an amateur boxing event at my old boxing club, Crumlin Boxing Club, but I want to do it in mixed martial arts competition also. Create an event, find an opponent, compete, zero prize. I do not care about the prize,” said McGregor.
“The prize is in my home. I have five prizes in my home that I seek to get, I’ve got them. I just want to compete now, I want to come back, I want to get sharp, I want to show the best of myself and continue to climb. So that’s what I am seeking to do. So we are looking to do that sometime in December, hopefully have a charity mixed martial arts event for zero prize. The prize will go to charity, so that’s what we are aiming for.”
McGregor was clear to say he intends to return to the UFC. But at his level of stardom, negotiations are much more complex than simply agreeing to an opponent and date. He seems to believe, however, that an announcement will be forthcoming soon.
“Once we get the first one going and we get past the politics of this, I will continue to go,” he stated.
“We are almost there and I will be back.”
Conor McGregor Full Ukraine Press Conference
(Courtesy of UkraineAtamansPRO)