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Conor McGregor is getting closer and closer to making his UFC return.
“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 my own self, so that’s kind of what I’m doing.”
The former two-division UFC champion said Friday that his recovery has gone well and he expects to be able to resume significant activity in the gym within the next two months.
“April, they said I can spar again and I can box again basically,” McGregor 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.
“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.”
McGregor has been sidelined since his first-round TKO loss to Poirier, which marked his second straight knockout loss to the American and ended his trilogy with Poirier, who went on to lose to Charles Oliveira in a bid to capture the UFC lightweight title in at UFC 269.
Both of McGregor’s two fights against Poirier in 2021 were contested at 155 pounds, and “The Notorious” said Friday that he isn’t sure yet which weight he’ll compete at for his UFC comeback, however he expects to return at either lightweight or welterweight.
“If your man’s wise, he might give it another month or two,” McGregor said of Oliveira. “July seems OK 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.”
If McGregor does return in the summer as he expects, his entry back into the 155-pound division could throw a monkey wrench into a title picture that is seemingly being decided on Saturday at UFC Vegas 49, which features Islam Makhachev taking on late-replacement Bobby Green in the main event with a potential title shot on the line.
McGregor has lost two fights in a row and three of his last four, however he remains the biggest star and most lucrative draw MMA has ever had, so anything is always possible in regards to the opportunities within his reach.
“I just want to compete,” McGregor said. “I know that [I’m one of the best in the world]. I don’t have to prove that — I am that. Man, I’m the double champ. I went to the different sport, I came back. I know that. I don’t have to prove that, I know that. So it’s just about getting back in, competing, getting myself into pristine condition and going 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 of myself when I kick a body, when I step back in and out and I get that feel of it, then I’ll be able to gauge time. And then 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 Irish whiskey, and I’m going to dedicate myself to my craft 100 percent — and give it a month or two of that, and see how everything goes, and then make the move.
“I’m in no hurry, no rush,” McGregor added. “I know a lot of people are supporting me and I want to do them well. I want to do my support well, and that’s what we’re going to do.”