In an interview with UFC.com, Dana White has stated that, regardless of what happens at UFC 202, he expects Conor McGregor to defend his featherweight title next.
“I fully expect Conor to come back and defend his 145-pound title,” White stated.
The UFC’s featherweight matchmaker, Sean Shelby, also said recently that he expects to see McGregor back in the division soon.
“I’ll be lining up fighters for him,” Shelby told Jon Anik, while breaking down the UFC 202 card. “I fully believe he will be back with us again, with me, at the 145 lb division.”
However, when asked at a recent UFC 202 media call what he thought about returning to featherweight next, McGregor seemed less certain than White about his future plans.
“I haven’t really spoke about it to anyone about what’s next. Who knows what’s next?” McGregor said. “Right now I’m [less than two weeks] away from a war and I’m ready for the war. So that’s all I’m thinking of right now. So let’s have this war.
McGregor’s long-time coach John Kavanagh is also known to be keen to encourage him not to make the brutal cut down to 145lbs again, and would prefer to see him compete at lightweight instead.
“In my personal opinion, I would like to see Conor at 155 lbs,” Kavanagh said on The Anik and Florian podcast. “That’s just me as his long time trainer, and in some way like his big brother. I would be encouraging him to stick with 155 lbs but that’s just my small opinion.
“Whatever Conor wants to do, Conor will do. Whatever he says to me he wants to do, I will support him.”