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Dana White rules out UFC title shot for Conor McGregor on return from injury

Mirror logo Mirror 14/01/2022 Ben Davies

UFC president Dana White has ruled that Justin Gaethje - and not Conor McGregor - will challenge lightweight world champion Charles Oliveira.

McGregor and Oliveira have frequently exchanged on social media with the Irishman set on challenging for the 155lb belt on his return from injury.

McGregor is set to return this summer after breaking his leg in his defeat by Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 last July.

It looks unlikely that this will be against Oliveira however with UFC kingpin White confirming he plans to map out Oliveira's title defences after he faces leading contender Gaethje.

"We've got to see how all these fights play out [but] first of all we have to see Oliveira face Gaethje," White told BT Sport. "And then determine who is next for the title.

Dana White, Conor McGregor that are talking to each other: Conor McGregor is unlikely to get a title shot at Charles Oliveira on his return © Getty Images Conor McGregor is unlikely to get a title shot at Charles Oliveira on his return

"I don't know the answer to those questions in terms of who will fight who but any way you match them up it is all good. There is a lot of different things we can do in that division.

"Even as long as Conor has been out with the type of injury who knows how long he is going to be to come back and be here. He needs to take time and let it heal get back to one hundred percent. Then we will work out what is next for them."

McGregor has previously been told by White he is likely to headline a bill due to his status in the division.

The Irishman has slid to ninth in the rankings behind the likes of Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush who will meet each other in the octagon next month.

With a queue forming, the winner of that fight is likely to try and assert their status as the next natural contender to Oliveira's crown if he beats Gaethje.

Gaethje secured his status as the leading ranked contender with victory over Michael Chandler last year outpointing his rival in a brutal war.

Who would you like to see Charles Oliveira face - Justin Gaethje or Conor McGregor? Let us know in the comments section below

However the Brazilian champion Oliveira has admitted he would instead like to face McGregor due to the lucrative payday on offer and the exposure for his career.

"May would be a wonderful date. Conor challenged me asking a date, and tweeted Ireland vs. Brazil 2," he told Sherdog.

"Not only him, but also myself and all the world wants to see that fight. So let's make it happen. I'm waiting for him in May.

"It may be in welterweight, lightweight or middleweight, with my title on the line or not. Just choose and I'll be ready. Gaethje was knocked out by Poirier, who I just submitted. He was almost knocked out by Chandler, who I beat via TKO.

"But I'm a UFC employee. If they choose that I should fight Gaethje next, I’ll be ready too. To tell you the truth, I couldn't understand his posture.

"He said a lot of bull**** about me, but when he faced me he said I deserve all the respect, that I was a real champion."

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