Conor McGregor is targeting a summer return to the UFC and, despite reports to the contrary, he IS prepared to compete in a co-main event bout on a UFC fight card this summer.
Of course, there's a catch, with McGregor stating that for him to concede his spot at the top of a UFC fight card, he'd have to be appropriately compensated.
Speaking in Chicago to promote his whiskey brand, Proper 12, he stated: "I'm ready to fight. I've said that, no problem.
"If the UFC wants me to slide into that co-main event and help… What that is, me sliding into the co-main event, it’s boosting their brand over fighter rhetoric that they have.
"There’s no problem with that. But if they want me to push that – and I have no problem pushing that – give me my rightful share in the UFC company. That’s all I ask. You can put me on the first fight of ESPN+, no problem. So let’s see how it goes."
The Irishman was linked with a clash with Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone, but the American revealed that McGregor turned down the fight on the basis of it not being a main event contest.
UFC president Dana White has suggested McGregor is instead targeting a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov. But with the Russian world champion currently out until the fall, McGregor has stated that he is targeting a July return, most likely at UFC 239 during International Fight Week.
Speaking during a television interview at Chicago's St. Patrick's Day celebrations, McGregor said: "Yes, we’re currently in negotiations.
"We’re aiming for July, we’ll see what happens.[embedded content]
"I am staying ready. This morning I was doing incline sprints on the treadmill on my program, the McGregorFast program, today in a hotel room. So we’re staying on it, getting work in as we go."
One option could see McGregor face the winner of the upcoming interim lightweight title fight between Dustin Poirier and UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, though that would require a speedy turnaround for the winner if the bout was made for UFC 239 on July 6.
Another could see McGregor face Nate Diaz in a trilogy fight. Each man holds a win over the other, with Diaz submitting McGregor at UFC 196, and McGregor evening the scores with a decision victory in the rematch at UFC 202.