UFC/MMA News: Conor McGregor intended to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222
McGregor has finally opened up about his UFC future.
What's the story
Conor McGregor just took to Instagram to address his doubters and critics about his current mindset toward the fight game. "I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this," said the Irishman.
In case you didn't know...
Apparently, Conor McGregor has been forced to relinquish his UFC lightweight title, given that the UFC 223 pay-per-view event is right around the corner. Dana White confirmed in an interview with TMZ Sports that the lightweight division needs to move on without McGregor as the latter wanted to take some time off.
Slated to be held on 7 April 2018, the main event of UFC 223 will pit Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight championship. Dana White has also confirmed that this fight will indeed be for the "real" belt.
This is the second instance wherein McGregor had to relinquish his UFC title. The Irishman ended up vacating his featherweight title following UFC 205, which was held in November 2016, where he beat Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title. "The Notorious One" has not competed in the octagon since this event, and now he isn't the lightweight champ either.
The heart of the matter
MMA fans and fighters alike have been questioning McGregor's integrity toward the sport, given the fact that he has been inactive for more than 15 months and has never defended either of his UFC titles. And especially after "The Champ Champ" had a multi-million-dollar payday for facing Floyd Mayweather in a boxing bout, critics suggested that the Irishman will never return to compete in MMA.
Now, in an attempt to put all these doubts to rest, McGregor has posted on Instagram, asserting that he will indeed fight again and is the best in the business.
"I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this." - Conor McGregor declared.
He went on the claim that he volunteered to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 when Max Holloway pulled out of the bout. However, his request was declined as "there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need".
"I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game.
Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in."
McGregor concluded the post by implying that he's always available, and all the UFC needs to do is reach out to him.
Conor McGregor has no fight scheduled at the moment. Dana White has said that if or when McGregor chooses to return, he would get the opportunity to face the winner of the Tony-Khabib fight for the undisputed lightweight champion.
It seems like all the criticism from the MMA community has been wearing McGregor down, especially since news broke out that he now holds the record for the longest UFC title reign without any defense attempted.
But one has to wonder; if the Irishman is as available as he says he is, why hasn't he competed inside the octagon since his bout with Mayweather that happened about six months ago? Why would he volunteer to fight Edgar at UFC 222 instead of choosing to defend his undisputed lightweight title against Ferguson at UFC 223?
Perhaps Mystic Mac will soon elaborate on his puzzling claims as well as his plans for the future.