McGregor would fight this year under one condition
UFC 219 takes place on December 30, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The New Years event is always one of the biggest cards of the year. The line up is excellent, but neither is it yet one of the biggest shows of the year:
Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree
There were rumors that lightweight champion Conor McGregor was going to headline. Notorious hasn’t fought since defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on 12 November 2016. He took off time for the birth of his son, in May. Then he boxed Floyd Mayweather in August. Over a year without a title defense is absurd, so the fight would be reasonable. Unfortunately, his coach John Kavanagh said it wasn’t so.
“December 30th is definitely not happening,” he said, as transcribed by Chisanga Malata for the Daily Star. “I don’t know how these things get started, but they have a certain way of gaining momentum.”
However, McGregor took part in a Q&A in Scotland last month and left the door open.
“Now I need to get the pounds down,” McGregor explained. “Especially if, maybe, December 30 could still happen.
“I’ll tell you how December 30 could happen. December 30 could happen if I had to do f*** all but show up to the weigh-in. If they can give me that, I’d give them December 30 and then we’d be laughing.”
Unfortunately, McGregor the fighter is inseparable from McGregor the trash talking, public figure. The UFC could probably make just as much money getting McGregor to do a media tour for, well, anything, as they could getting him to fight without a peep. So a media freed Conor in UFC 219 is vanishingly unlikely to happen.