Conor McGregor: Dana White provides huge update on UFC return date ahead of UFC 223

McGregor, 29, hasn’t set foot inside the Octagon since claiming the lightweight title in the main event of UFC 205, a card which saw him become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously.

Over 16 months have passed since that historic night at Madison Square Garden, and McGregor has shown little sign of returning to mixed martial arts anytime soon, much to the annoyance of many.

Among those perturbed by McGregor’s lengthy hiatus is White, who is hopeful of seeing McGregor back in the cage by September at the latest.

“Hopefully we’ll see him back in either August or September,” White told the BBC.

“Well we’ve got to see how things play out in that [lightweight] division.”

In McGregor’s absence, the UFC brass have booked a lightweight bout between interim 155lbs champion Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, which will headline UFC 223 on April 7.

According to White, that fight will see Ferguson and Nurmagomedov vie for McGregor’s title.

However, the UFC brass have yet to relieve McGregor of the title, prompting many to believe Ferguon and Nurmagomedov will be competing for the interim belt next month.

Like many in the MMA world, White is keen on seeing McGregor face the winner of the most eagerly-anticipated fight in lightweight history.

“A lot of things are going to happen in the next several months in the 155-pound division,” he added.

“Coming up is going to be Tony Ferguson versus Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and the winner of that is who I would like to see Conor fight next.”

According to McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy, ‘The Notorious’ is adamant he will return to the UFC.

“We can’t really talk about when he wants to return,” he told Express Sport. “But he’s adamant he’s getting back

“But for me, the sooner (he’s back) the better. The UFC is really missing Conor, I believe,

“And I think everybody is missing the whole extravaganza of a Conor McGregor fight. There’s nothing like it in the world.

“And I think the people in the world want to see it again. The sooner the better.”

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