For fans hoping to see Conor McGregor defend his UFC lightweight title, don’t hold your breath…

During the last twelve months, the MMA world has seen Conor McGregor fight just once in the octagon. Currently the UFC lightweight champion, ‘The Notorious’ has been pre-occupied with the boxing world.

Facing Floyd Mayweather on August 26, McGregor made the biggest pay check of his career. Overshadowing every payday ever earned in MMA history, McGregor could no doubt retire now if he wanted to.

Although he was unsuccessful against Mayweather, the brash Irishman’s bank account now bulges. With unfinished business in the UFC, McGregor has recently spoken of a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz.

Money now supersedes rankings, and so the third dance with Diaz seems inevitable. Meanwhile, Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson compete for the interim belt at UFC 216. Throughout all this madness, we’ve heard nothing of McGregor’s potential return date, until now…

Floyd Mayweather lands a stiff right hand en route to his tenth round stoppage of Conor McGregor on August 26, 2017…

Conor McGregor Coming Back…But Not This Year

According to coach John Kavanagh during his appearance on The MMA Hour, McGregor’s return is now likely to be in 2018:

“It’s probably a little late in the day to realistically expect another fight before the end of the year because even after this hiatus is over, a lot goes into the planning and execution of a training camp at our level,” Kavanagh wrote. “I find it hard to envisage another fight in 2017.”

“He’s difficult to predict, which is one of the many reasons why he’s so fascinating. Even though Conor is the champion, I know there’s an interim lightweight title fight coming up between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee,” Kavanagh wrote. “To be completely honest, I didn’t actually know who Kevin was until very recently.”

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Conor McGregor had been looking for the uppercut throughout the fight, but it didn’t really land…Photo Credit: The Guardian

“Tony is a solid fighter but he doesn’t have the kind of appeal that would get your blood racing, particularly in the context of coming from the excitement of the Nate Diaz rematch, the historical significance of beating Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden, and the novelty of facing the greatest boxer of his generation.”

“This is all accompanied by the caveat that it’s merely the opinion of John Kavanagh, but I’m sure people will be able to relate to my perspective on the situation,” he said. “In the meantime, we’re just going to switch off, let our minds settle and we’ll make a decision on the next step when the time is right.”

“In summary, the whole thing was a great experience,” Kavanagh said. “From the training to seeing how a boxing event is run on the night, I enjoyed it all. I look forward to telling my grandchildren about it when I’m an old man. Having said that, we didn’t go there just to participate, we went there to win, so in that sense, it was hugely disappointing.”

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