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The MMA world has been promised a Conor McGregor return in 2023, and he may have dropped a spoiler for where he’ll turn up next.
McGregor, a former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, said Wednesday he’s been offered a coaching spot on an upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Not long after, UFC president Dana White shared McGregor’s post – lending a lot of credence to his claim.
The UFC’s long-running reality competition series returned in 2022 for its first season on ESPN+. The 31st season hasn’t been officially announced by the promotion, but taping for the season is expected to begin soon with a likely weekly broadcast later this spring.
McGregor coached opposite Urijah Faber on Season 22 of the show in 2015. Wednesday, he posted a photo on Instagram from a time he said was just before he taped the show and said he has “been offered to coach this role again.”
But perhaps most importantly for those who want to see McGregor off the sidelines: “I like it,” he posted.
“This is a snap from the original ultimate fighter house. Where I coached vs urijah faber. This photo was just before the show tho,” McGregor posted. “It was right before I won my first world title beating urijah team mate chad mendes around. I then went on to coach the famous fight show straight after the fight. With a big black eye and a gash, my tricolor, and my new and first ever ufc gold belt, I waltzed into the notorious fight gym in Las Vegas. The slickest suits and shouts the show had ever seen before. On top of the silverware. And I coached my team to victory. Crazy. Some journey. I have just been offered to coach this role again. I like it. It is full immersion which is needed. I see fighters lining up. I know whats ahead I been ready motherfuckers. #StayReady”
McGregor was in the news again earlier this week for something outside the world of fighting. The Irishman is under investigation for allegedly attacking a woman on board his yacht in Ibiza in Spain in July 2022. A McGregor rep issued a denial statement on McGregor’s behalf.
McGregor has not fought since a July 2021 TKO loss to Dustin Poirier, which was his second straight knockout loss to him. McGregor broke his leg in the fight. He has been rehabbing since then and his return regularly is teased. His longtime coach John Kavanagh said he expects McGregor to fight in 2023.
The former simultaneous lightweight and featherweight champion – he never defended either belt and was stripped of both for inactivity – has lost three of his past four fights. His only win in that stretch was a quick knockout of Donald Cerrone three years ago, which was part of Cerrone’s six straight losses to close his career before retirement.
McGregor remains one of the most popular and bankable athletes in the world and is the UFC’s biggest draw. But in recent years, he’s become known more for his issues outside the cage than in it.