Conor McGregor is aiming for a busy 2023 marketing campaign.
With filming wrapped on The Final Fighter 31, the previous two-division UFC champion made a particular in-studio look Wednesday on The MMA Hour, the place he seemed again on his highway since UFC 264 and seemed forward to his upcoming UFC return. McGregor is ready to face fellow TUF 31 coach Michael Chandler later in 2023, and if he has his druthers, it’ll be the primary of a two-fight schedule for what’s shaping as much as be his comeback yr.
“For positive [the goal is two fights in 2023], I can see it shifting fairly quick when it strikes,” McGregor instructed host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “We’re gearing up and there’s so much happening behind the scenes and all, however I really feel it’ll transfer quick. There’s no concern why it shouldn’t transfer quick. So I assume late summer season [for Chandler], possibly slightly bit later relying — I would really like that. After which after all, that’s nonetheless half the yr left.
“I want for consistency. I’m working for consistency. Like I stated earlier than, I’ve had this on-off factor for a few years and it’s been irritating, however be it for various causes. However I’d like to simply get previous that and simply get into this consistency bracket. And I really feel I’ll, I really feel I can, and I’m excited for it.”
McGregor, 34, has not competed since badly injuring his left leg within the second of back-to-back stoppage losses by the hands of Dustin Poirier in 2021.
The ugly harm finally sidelined McGregor for greater than a yr and required intensive rehabilitation to beat. McGregor admitted Wednesday that he even initially doubted whether or not he’d ever have the ability to battle once more at full power, nonetheless these doubts shortly subsided and have been changed by motivation to construct himself again for a UFC return.
“On the time, I assumed, ‘, possibly I gained’t have the ability to do that once more.’ For positive, that was in my ideas,” McGregor acknowledged.
“The place there’s a will, there’s a manner. If you happen to’re prepared, you’re ready. You’ve solely received to take a look at guys like the opposite ‘Infamous’ within the sport, the one different ‘Infamous’ within the sport is a man, ‘Infamous’ Nick Newell, with no hand. There’s a manner. If you happen to’re with disabilities or one thing that’s incorrect, yow will discover a technique to compete. Have a look at, there’s one other man, Zion Clark, a wrestling champion — he’s received no decrease half of his physique. I noticed him on the occasion, he had his MMA debut only recently, gained, however I see him stroll on his palms. I’m by no means stopping this. I’m persevering with. I’d wheel out into that octagon and execute into the open guard if I couldn’t brace on the leg. That was in my ideas, that was my ideas.
“So thank God, my surgeons, the docs, the UFC care that I had, and all the assistance that I received, I used to be capable of recuperate from it,” he continued. “And I’ve received the facility within the leg, I’ve capable of brace on it, I’m capable of kick with it. I’m kicking exhausting, I’m kicking quick. And also you greatest imagine I’m trying to take this man out with the metal bar on my leg, for positive.”
McGregor confirmed that his battle towards Chandler will possible happen at 170 kilos. The Irishman has bulked up considerably since his harm and called for a welterweight title shot if he’s capable of break his two-fight hunch and win his comeback battle.
Successful a belt at 170 kilos would make McGregor the first-ever three-division champion in UFC historical past. He beforehand earned titles at featherweight in 2015 and light-weight in 2016. McGregor holds a 2-1 document as a welterweight within the UFC, splitting a two-fight collection with Nate Diaz earlier than demolishing Donald Cerrone in simply 40 seconds in his most up-to-date win.
However a query of motivation nonetheless looms massive.
Why would McGregor even wish to put himself in such hazard once more, particularly after touchdown at No. 33 on Sportico’s latest record of the top 50 highest-paid athletes of all-time?
The reply, it seems, is straightforward.
“Competitors, man. Competitors. It’s the very best buzz ever,” McGregor stated. “Why would you not wish to do it? How would you not wish to make this stroll and expertise this complete factor? It’s extremely addictive and I’m extremely addicted. In order that’s it.”