Conor McGregor intends to fight again, and he even claims he was willing to face Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 in Las Vegas.
McGregor, 29, made the claim in a social media post on Thursday. The Irish star has not fought since a lucrative boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August, and he has not appeared in the UFC's Octagon since November 2016.
I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this. I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need. I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in. On top of the fighting. I am here. It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here. Yours sincerely, The Champ Champ™
UFC president Dana White has repeatedly stated there is no guarantee McGregor will ever fight again. McGregor definitively put that question to rest in his post.
"I am fighting again. Period," McGregor wrote via Instagram. "I am the best at this. I put my name name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need.
"I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in."
The UFC 222 pay-per-view event lost its main attraction last month, when Holloway was forced out of a featherweight title defense against Edgar due to injury.
Edgar (22-5-1) remained on the card and will now face Brian Ortega in a non-title bout.
When reached by ESPN, Edgar's manager Ali Abdelaziz accused McGregor of lying about his willingness to fight this weekend.
"When Max pulled out, I told the UFC, we'll fight Conor at any weight class he wants," Abdelaziz said. "The UFC told us they can't even get him to fight in his weight class.
"He's become just like Floyd Mayweather. This guy doesn't want to fight. He does what Floyd Mayweather does. He just wants to stay in the media. He likes the attention, but he's not getting it because he's not fighting. He should have fought Frankie two years ago. He ducked him for two years. He's full of s---. He's a liar."
White did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
McGregor (21-3) is the UFC's official lightweight champion, however, the promotion has booked a lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on April 7. White has strongly hinted that McGregor will be stripped of his title at some point prior to that fight.
"Listen, Conor made a lot of money, and he wants some time off, but the division has to go on, and the business has to go on," White told TMZ this week. "I'd like to see Conor fight the winner [of Ferguson- Nurmagomedov]. It was August, then September -- I don't know. I say it all the time: With that kind of money, Conor might never come back."