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Dana White to meet with Conor McGregor in two weeks, envisions 2019 return

Despite Conor McGregor's unexpected retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) last month, UFC president Dana White still believes that "Notorious" will grace the Octagon in 2019.

McGregor, who was last seen getting submitted by rival and current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October, announced he's stepping away from fighting just three weeks ago amidst a litany of legal troubles and stalled fight talks with UFC. McGregor had retired once before back in 2016, only to return four months later for his welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202, so few believed the Irishman's recent announcement was one that would stick.

Still, McGregor will remained "retired" until he actually sits down with UFC brass and hashes out any and all issues the two parties have, which originally revolved around the promotion wanting to plug McGregor into a co-main event slot for his comeback fight and “Notorious” wanting a stake in the company in return.

Luckily for all you McGregor lovers out there, UFC president Dana White is adamant that the 30-year-old will return to action this year. White also revealed that he is scheduled to meet with "Notorious" at the end of the month to talk about the next step.

“I’m meeting with Conor in Miami in two weeks,” said White following UFC’s seasonal press conference early Friday.

If White’s words ring true and he’s able to sit down with McGregor later this month and coax “Notorious” to come back, fight fans could see the Irishman back inside of the Octagon as soon as this summer. While McGregor is unlikely to land a rematch with Khabib in his return fight, names like Donald Cerrone, Tony Ferguson, Anthony Pettis, and the aforementioned Diaz are all floating out there.

It may also make sense for McGregor to return against the winner of Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier, due entirely to the fact that McGregor already holds victories over both men at featherweight, but White is adamant that the winner of Holloway and Poirier’s interim lightweight title fight this weekend at UFC 236 squares off against Khabib later this year.

“These guys are the interim champions, they’re fighting to fight Khabib,” White told MMA Junkie.

For now, the speculation surrounding McGregor’s potential return will continue to clutter the MMA airwaves. That is until White steps off a plane in Miami in two weeks and talks the biggest star in combat sports into coming home.

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