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White admits McGregor key to the lightweight division

Read Sport logo Read Sport 17/05/2018 Sam Brown

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sport © Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sport Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sport UFC president Dana White has admitted the lightweight division’s route forward must still involve disgraced star, Conor McGregor. 

McGregor drew ire and headlines last month after a rampage ahead of UFC 223 which resulted in criminal charges being brought against the Irishman.

White was scathing in the immediate aftermath of the events, but in recent weeks has appeared more realistic in his assessment of McGregor’s future in the organisation.

Stripped of the 155 lbs belt prior to UFC 223, when discussing the weight class at a recent event, White said:

“Well let me put it this way: (Tony) Ferguson isn’t going to be back until, probably, October… if everything goes perfect for him after his surgery,”

“Then you’ve got Alvarez-Porier. We’ll see how this thing plays out legally for Conor.”

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor stands during his arraignment in a New York City courtroom on charges of assault in New York, NY, U.S., April 6, 2018.   Mary Altaffer/Pool via REUTERS © Catalyst Images Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor stands during his arraignment in a New York City courtroom on charges of assault in New York, NY, U.S., April 6, 2018. Mary Altaffer/Pool via REUTERS

The kingpin did assert however that the approaching legal process takes prominence in McGregor’s situation:

“Conor has to show up in New York and handle his legal mess.”

“He’s got to be punished by the law first. Let’s see what happens in New York.”

“We’ll see. We’ll see what happens,”

a group of people wearing military uniforms: David Becker/Getty Images Entertainment © David Becker/Getty Images Entertainment David Becker/Getty Images Entertainment

It seems in addition to his felony sentencing, McGregor will also have to answer to the UFC’s powers. Sanctions could be placed upon the fan-favourite that keep him out of the octagon for the foreseeable future.

Despite this, a clash with new champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (who allegedly prompted Conor’s trip to New York, following a confrontation with McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov) may prove to be financially irresistible to White and the UFC.

Related: McGregor's most controversial moments [ReadSport]

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