Dana White discusses possibility of Conor McGregor leaving UFC
What's the story?
In recent weeks, there has been plenty of speculation surrounding whether UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the company or not. President Dana White recently appeared on Fox Sports Undisputed and discussed his plans going forward, assessing what will happen if McGregor does decide to pursue other opportunities elsewhere outside the sport.
In case you didn't know...
McGregor began the sport's first ever champion in two separate weight divisions simultaneously after beating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight belt at UFC 205 - back in November 2016.
That was his most recent fight in the Octagon, having announced post-fight that he would take time off from the UFC in anticipation for the birth of his first child with partner Dee Devlin during the early months of last year.
Since then, he has been stripped of the Featherweight title for inactivity, while actively campaigning for a boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather.
The heart of the matter
After his mega-fight with Mayweather on August 26, many praised the 29-year-old's bravery for choosing the world's best to compete against.
However since then, he has been quiet in regards to making his return to the UFC. After all, he still has a belt to defend and worthy contenders eagerly calling him out at every turn.
As quoted by the Mirror, Dana White explained that regardless of McGregor's presence, the company will continue to find new talent.
"If Conor fights, that'll be awesome. If [he] doesn't fight, the UFC is going to go on. I've been hearing this since 2003. 'What are you going to do when Chuck Liddell's gone? What are you going to do when Georges St-Pierre leaves? You're in big trouble when Anderson Silva's gone! This list goes on and on. Ronda Rousey.
"Last year was the best in the company's history. So we're going to keep finding new talent and putting on the best fights in the world. That's what we're going to continue to do, with or without anybody."
There's no doubt that McGregor is one of the biggest MMA stars and a key attraction too. However, there may be some truth behind these rumours on Conor's potential departure from the sport.
Having achieved so much in the past few years of his professional career, whilst making a fortune, he may feel as though he has nothing left to achieve - with only credibility and star power to lose at this point.
It's possible he decides to become more committed to his family as opposed to his MMA career, whilst there are a wealth of options that can be offered to him in other disciplines too, including professional wrestling.
Dana White's comments are understandable but even still, it's hard to believe UFC will not miss Conor's presence - at least in the short-term.