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Dana White confirms Conor McGregor out until May, says UFC will endure layoff

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When Conor McGregor announced after his UFC 205 victory over Eddie Alvarez that he was going to take some time off for the birth of his first child, few mixed martial arts (MMA) fans disagreed with the decision. After all, the 28-year-old Irish superstar has fought four times over the past 12 months, captured two undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titles and produced economic high points for a company already worth billions.

"He won't fight before May," said UFC president Dana White during a recent interview with LA Times. "His girl [Dee Devlin] gets super stressed out when he fights. He doesn't want her having any of that stress while she's pregnant. He's good. He should take time off. He's been fighting nonstop. Nothing wrong with him taking time off. It's good for him and her and it's good for the baby."

While McGregor is undoubtedly the biggest star in the sport today, White doesn't seem too worried about not having him compete before the middle of next year. In fact, it's a daily battle for the outspoken president to prove the company can survive a big ticket layoff.

"We've done this for 16 years, with a lot of big stars who couldn't fight or moved on - Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre," added White. "There's not a day in this office I don't get the question, ‘What are we going to do about this guy?' Every day I turn around, I've got a reporter saying we've peaked.

"If I listened to any of that ... , we probably would be done.

"But I can tell you, we're just getting started. Ari is a bright, fresh-eyed guy who's just getting into this business, and he's in love with it."

Many have speculated who will get the next opportunity to debunk McGregor. A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz is certainly a plausible option, especially since McGregor's head coach, John Kavanagh, is lobbying for it, but the Irishman could very well defend his lightweight title opposite Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson, or even rematch Jose Aldo in a featherweight unification bout.

The options are plentiful, but the MMA world will have to wait longer than they ever have before to see McGregor get back into the Octagon.