Dana White Blames McGregor’s Acting Debut For His UFC Return Delay

Dana White has said Conor McGregor’s activities outside the Octagon are hindering his return.

The Irishman has been promoting his first movie, Road House, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. That has been a welcome distraction as McGregor navigates his UFC return. He has two fights left under his UFC deal, but his next fight is unclear. His last UFC appearance was a UFC 264 loss to Dustin Poirier in 2021.

The defeat was accompanied by a broken leg. He has been teasing a comeback, recently saying it was ‘all systems go’ for a summer return. The UFC has stayed silent over McGregor’s summer return, leaving MMA fans guessing. White clarified that McGregor needed to focus 100 percent on fighting before a return could be considered. 

“There’s no lack of communication, not at all. You know where Conor is tonight? He’s in New York City for the premiere of Road House. He has obligations right now, to promote this movie. So he’s been flying all over the world going to all of the premieres of the launch of this movie. This is an obligation that he has to do.

“100% [I’m looking out for him], 100%. It is what it is. He committed to this movie, he has obligations for this movie. He can’t do both. So once this movie launches, which is Thursday. This thing launches Thursday the 21st and boom. I don’t know what his obligations are once it launches, but then Conor can get back in the gym and start training. Like, full-time, getting ready for a camp. Tell me if I’m wrong. Once you start to make a lot of money, you’re not as hungry as you were before, and it is hard to get in the gym,” White stated 

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The film was released on March 21, with McGregor receiving rave reviews for his performance. The Irishman has said further acting roles are in the pipeline, leaving more questions over whether McGregor will fight again. While McGregor is one of the UFC’s most iconic fighters, he has lost three out of his last four UFC bouts.

The rise of Sean O’Malley and Ilia Topuria means McGregor cannot live off his past achievements. More active champions have since become promotional draws, as seen with the rise of Sean O’Malley and Ilia Topuria. Fans remain skeptical if the sport’s biggest draw will return.

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Conor McGregorDana WhiteDustin PoirierIlia TopuriaJake GyllenhaalMMA NewsSean O'Malley