Conor McGregor, who has been in Ireland since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, is considering stepping out of his home country for a UFC fight in July — but only if the UFC can ensure the safety of fighters, trainers, and everyone else involved in the event.
McGregor’s manager, Audie Attar, told ESPN that his client has been staying in shape and is gearing up for a possible fight in a few months, but only if the conditions are right. Attar said that McGregor will be watching UFC 249 on Saturday so he can prepare for future fights against either Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje, who are fighting for the interim lightweight title, but also to see whether the UFC can protect fighters and staff.
"Conor is very curious to see whether the health and safety of the athletes and staff are ensured," Attar told ESPN. "He wants to make sure everyone is taken care of properly."
McGregor had already been thinking about fighting in July, according to Attar, but isn’t keen on fighting in an empty venue without fans. However, he would do it provided UFC can ensure everyone’s safety and everything falls into place.
"While Conor's desire would be to fight in front of another sold-out crowd," Attar said to ESPN, "he does understand what him fighting in an empty arena could do for people at home and would consider if he is comfortable with the way the UFC is holding these events from a health and safety standpoint."
McGregor accepts De La Hoya challenge
McGregor, who last fought in January when he TKO’d Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds, did accept a fight on Thursday. Unfortunately, it’s a fight that doesn’t exist, against a man who retired a decade ago and has no desire to return to the ring.
I accept your challenge, Oscar de la Hoya.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 7, 2020
Oscar De La Hoya didn’t exactly offer McGregor a real challenge, even though McGregor accepted one. On CBS Sports' "State of Combat" podcast, De La Hoya said that it would take him just two rounds to knock McGregor out in the boxing ring.
"Oh come on, brother. Two rounds,” De La Hoya said. “One thing about me is I went for the kill, always. Look, Conor McGregor -- I love him in the Octagon, I respect him, I watch him all the time. But the boxing ring is a whole different story, it's a whole different story."
McGregor couldn’t let that go, and accepted De La Hoya’s “challenge,” even though none had been issued. Hopefully someone tells McGregor that De La Hoya is happily retired before he starts booking a venue and trainers.
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