Conor McGregor erupts over UFC inactivity: ‘My patience is wearing thin’

Conor McGregor is getting sick of waiting to make his UFC return.

The former two-division champion had a ringside seat on Saturday for the Day of Reckoning boxing pay-per-view in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, which saw Anthony Joshua defeat Otto Wallin via fifth-round stoppage and Joseph Parker upset Deontay Wilder in a lopsided decision. Afterward, an animated McGregor spoke to TalkSPORT and erupted once the topic turned to his potential return to UFC, which remains without a concrete date in 2024.

“‘The Mac’ has loads to offer and loads to deliver,” McGregor ranted.

“The lads here [in Saudi Arabia] are talking Manny [Pacquiao in boxing], the UFC aren’t talking any. … Give me something. You know what I’m saying? I was supposed to be back in April [2024], I was supposed to be back in April. It was supposed to be December. They’ve never treated anyone [like this]. No one’s ever been treated [like this]. For all the figures I’ve brought in this game — I sell more than all of them combined, yeah? I sell more than every one of them combined.

“No one in the history of the fight game’s ever been treated the way I’m getting treated at this minute, yeah?” McGregor continued. “Through what I came through to what I bring, they f***** should open floodgates for me, yeah? And I’m waiting. I’m waiting and I’m waiting. My patience is wearing thin on me waiting.”

McGregor, 35, has been tentatively linked to a UFC return bout against Michael Chandler since coaching against the American on The Ultimate Fighter 31 in early 2023. McGregor told reporters in late October that the UFC was targeting April 2024 for his comeback fight and voiced frustration at his long layoff since his July 2021 loss to Dustin Poirier, however McGregor’s SBG Ireland coach John Kavanagh told MMA Fighting in November that the promotion delayed McGregor’s return again to a targeted bout in the “summertime.”

McGregor officially re-entered the UFC’s drug-testing pool with USADA on Oct. 8, meaning he will be eligible to compete again on April 8, 2024, per USADA rules. He submitted his first drug tests following his long-awaited reentry into the program in late October.

On Saturday, McGregor called out Pacquiao for a boxing match in multiple media appearances. In a clip captured by TNT Sports, McGregor spoke excitedly to Saudi Arabia’s minister of entertainment Turki Alalshikh about the potential bout while being seated next to soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Tell Manny to grow a set of balls and fight me at a higher weight class,” McGregor told Alalshikh. “Why not? It’s his sport. If he wants me to come down to a smaller weight, I should be able to use more of my weapons. I should be able to kick. I should be able to grapple. Shouldn’t that be fair? Wouldn’t you say? Say it to him. Is he a man or a mouse? Is Manny a man or a mouse?”

McGregor echoed similar sentiments in a separate interview with heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora for iFL TV.

In total, McGregor has fought in MMA just four times since capturing the UFC lightweight title with a 2016 win over Eddie Alvarez, sandwiching a victory over Donald Cerrone between a title loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov and back-to-back stoppage losses to Poirier.

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