Conor McGregor expects July Return; wants Immediate Title Shot

Conor McGregor spoke to SevereMMA while he attended the Bellator 275 card to support his teammates at 3Arena in Dublin on Friday night. McGregor, who previously held the UFC featherweight and lightweight titles simultaneously, gave an update on his leg injury which he suffered against Dustin Poirier at UFC at UFC 264 last July.

“Day by day, I feel better. They’re telling me to just take it easy, but I feel I can go, so I just need to kind of pull the reins back on myself, so that’s kind of what I’m doing.”

“There is an eleven percent chance that this bone won’t heal. We’re past that now but there was an eleven percent chance that the bone would never heal. It’s called a non-union, where the bones don’t join. It’s something similar to what’s happening to Chris Weidman right now at the minute. That mean I’ll forever be on that instability, but like i said I’m past that stage now.”

“But this will be a here today, gone tomorrow type of thing in my own head. The bone will recover, it’ll connect back to itself and it’ll be like it never happened.”

Speaking further about his return to action “The Notorious” said that he expects to return to sparring in just a few months but highlighted that a too much, too soon approach is something that he would like to avoid.

They said I can spar again in April and I can box again basically,” the Crumlin man said. “So I’m just going to take it day by day. Hopefully, now, once I get back sparring, I’ll know weight, I’ll know feel, I’ll know my own style. You know what I mean? I’m going to develop a different style, I’d imagine, so I’ve been shadowboxing a bit lately and I feel like I’m just getting the bearing of myself. But I feel good. I’m grounded on my feet, I can stop and start and take off. It’s just the little twists or a torque, I’ve just got to be careful on it.

McGregor spoke of his eagerness to step back in and challenge for the lightweight title upon his return. Even though the fight has been announced by Dana White, McGregor suggested that the champion should hold off on defending his belt against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.

“If your man’s wise, he might give it another month or two,” McGregor said speaking about Oliveira. “July seems okay for me. I can’t say too early, but July, if I’m sparring in April, May, June, July — I could slap the head off of most of these guys at the end of April.”

“It’s about time this game starts giving me respect for my different styles of fighting – my ground, my shots downward, my shots upward,” McGregor said. “No matter what’s going on with the leg, I scoot into open guard. I’d play open guard attacks. People are going to give me my respect for all of the facets of my game. Even the downward shots, from bottom, the elbows, the kicks. Even since that fight, you see people trying to implement them and make them. It’s not the same. There are levels to this game. The game is going to understand and give me my respect for my multiple facets for my game.”

McGregor stepped into the boxing ring in 2017 to take one one of the greatest boxers of all time, Floyd Mayweather. The fight itself was billed ‘The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History’ and the massive PPV numbers made the fight the second highest pay-per-view buy rate in history. McGregor was asked if he needs to prove himself once more, and what could have been if he didn’t take the Mayweather fight to remain in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. McGregor responded with little regret, saying he has nothing to prove and laid down his commitment to a return to action later this year.

“I’m the double-champ. I went to a different sport. I came back. I know that. I don’t got to prove that,” McGregor said. “It’s just about getting back in and competing and getting myself into pristine condition and getting in and enjoying myself, putting on a show for the fans. That’s it. Once I get the leg cleared and I get that feeling when I kick a body, when I step back in and out and get that feel of it, then I’ll be able to gauge time.

“I’m going to isolate myself. I’m going to stay away from the pub. I’m going to stay away from my delicious Forge Irish Stout, from my tasty, smooth Proper (No. Twelve) Irish Whiskey. I’m going to dedicate myself to my craft 100 percent. Give it a month or two of that and see how everything goes and make the move. There’s no worry, no rush. I know a lot of people are supporting me. I want to do them well. I want to do my support well. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Ian O'Neill is the host of the SevereMMA UFC Preview show and one of the co-hosts of The Auld Triangle - Irish MMA podcast. You can find more of Ian's work on the SevereMMA Patreon where he co-hosts The Chasing Pack and The Contender. Follow him on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma

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