Conor McGregor has been seen all around the world, throwing up his fist at those taking pictures and enjoying working on his many business ventures.
But July 10 marked two years since McGregor last fought in the octagon, where he suffered a broken tibia during his fight against Dustin Poirier that led to extensive rehab and thoughts from experts and fans alike about whether the “Notorious” McGregor would be back fighting again.
McGregor’s longtime agent, Audie Attar, said the “gruesome injury” was one that definitely had him questioning whether he’d be able to even run around with his kids again, let alone get back to fighting.
But it’s McGregor’s intention to fight in 2024 as he’s healed that leg and is ready to take on his next opponent.
“His competitive fire is still there from an athletic perspective, even though he doesn’t have to compete. He wants to compete. I think that’s key,” Attar told Fox News Digital. “He’s excited to get back in there.”
“Being able to not only get past that hurdle [of injury] and start to really ramp up training, and then has his eyes set on his return into the octagon in 2024, is exciting. I would expect him to fight – don’t have a set date yet, but sometime, let’s call it April or Q1, Q2 phase as well.”
Attar mentioned a possible fight against Michael Chandler, who McGregor coached against in “The Ultimate Fighter” earlier this year. UFC 300 in April, the month that Attar mentioned, would be the best bet for McGregor to return.
But as Attar mentioned, McGregor doesn’t have to come back if he chooses. Attar said he is focused on his business, which includes his Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey. McGregor’s even entering a new industry as he’s set to make his acting debut in the re-imagining of the 1980s hit “Road House.”
McGregor’s foundation as a fighter, though, is something Attar knows best.
“What I’m always amazed by with him is he resets,” Attar explained. “The desire for fighting is there, just to go out and be the best version of himself. It’s basically him proving himself right and learning from all his experiences, all the great accomplishments, the [records], but all the challenges as well.”
“That, to me, is always inspiring to see that he has that fire within. Not just to go make as much money as possible as an entrepreneur because he can just stay on that path and be better than most people and be in that top 1%, if you will. He’s looking to continue to achieve and prove himself right as it relates to his athletic accomplishments as well. That’s always inspiring to me.”
Experts and fans thinking that retirement might be in the works for McGregor looked at his age as well as the injury. At 35 years old, athletes are usually on a downward trend. So, with years removed from fighting, what would McGregor have left in the tank?
Attar said, unlike other professional sports, fighting in your mid-30s might be an advantage.
“The fight game is just different,” he began. “You see some of the best fighters that have the potential no matter how long they’re off. … They all would opt to stay busy, I can tell you that. But you can still see the peak for a combat sports athlete really to be in that mid-30s [range], particularly MMA, I can speak to more specifically, whether it’s Conor McGregor at 35, Jon Jones at 36. At the end of the day, it’s about the work you put in, the preparation. I think the fight IQ is at an all-time high at this stage, again, because they’ve been through everything most fighters dream of. And that gives them the ability to take all that data, if you will, and apply that into their preparation and practice and hopefully continue to evolve as an athlete as well. It yields the performance and result they want come fight night.”
So, that’s where McGregor’s head is at: Getting back in the octagon next year to showcase his skill, swagger and pure entertainment that he’s become so famous for. And depending on how that fight goes, no matter the opponent, Attar doesn’t believe this is a one-and-done scenario.
“Getting back into the octagon is step one, going in and handling business there,” he said. “Then, not looking past that, but then, obviously, when you get past that, look at your options and see what’s next.”