UFC President Dana White said Saturday that Conor McGregor could fight as many as three times in 2021.
White brought up the possibility during an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith (starting at the 4:40 mark):
White noted that if McGregor stays on course and “does what he’s supposed to do,” he could fight “two or three times” this year.
McGregor hasn’t fought twice or more in a year since 2016, when he fought Nate Diaz twice and Eddie Alvarez once.
The 32-year-old McGregor hasn’t fought since beating Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by first-round technical knockout at UFC 246 in January 2020, but his yearlong hiatus will come to an end next weekend.
McGregor came out of retirement and will face Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 23, with the winner likely establishing themselves as the front-runner to win the UFC lightweight title should Khabib Nurmagomedov remain retired and vacate it.
The Irishman fought Poirier before, beating him by first-round TKO at UFC 178 in 2014.
McGregor is the unquestioned biggest star in the UFC, but the promotion hasn’t had him much in recent years. Since beating Alvarez in November 2016, McGregor has fought only twice.
He has had some short-lived retirements and even forayed into boxing with a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., but McGregor appears to be singularly focused on the UFC once again.
McGregor has a big opportunity to establish himself as the dominant force in the UFC’s lightweight division once again, with fights against the likes of Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira potentially on tap in the not-too-distant future if he beats Poirier.
He is already one of the greatest UFC stars of all time with a 22-4 record and reigns as both lightweight and featherweight champion, but winning yet another title would cement McGregor’s place in UFC history.