Like it or not, Conor McGregor could fight for UFC lightweight title upon his return

Conor McGregor, UFC
January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds an Irish flag as he celebrates his first round TKO victory against Donald Cerrone following UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest star in the UFC is gearing up for a summer return. Conor McGregor (22-6) has been recovering from a broken leg that he suffered in his last fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 last July.

The former two division champion has been on the mend since that fight, but he’s itching to get back in the cage. Over the weekend, McGregor attended Bellator 275 that took place in Dublin, Ireland.

McGregor was interviewed at the event and shed some light on his return. Per McGregor, he will resume full sparring in April and he’s currently targeting a July return which would line up with the UFC’s International Fight Week.

Despite the lack of recent wins, McGregor is still the biggest star and cash cow that the promotion has. The UFC knows this as does the current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (32-8, 1 NC).

Could McGregor fight for UFC title?

Oliveira was very open about his desire to fight Conor McGregor. This would be a huge money fight for Oliveira and a fight that he frankly deserves in terms of compensation. However, that’s not what is next for Oliveira.

Oliveira is scheduled to face off against Justin Gaethje (23-3) in May. McGregor advised Oliveira to wait until July and face him instead, but that’s not happening. Gaethje is getting the next shot.

Now, Islam Makhachev (22-1) is the guy who many believe should face the winner of that UFC 274 main event. However, Dana White isn’t so sure. White told The Underground yesterday that Makhachev was in the mix, but there’s no guarantee.

Actually, there are talks currently to have Makhachev step-in and face Rafael Dos Anjos this weekend at UFC 272. Of course, that could throw a wrench into everything. Dana White also told The Underground that a McGregor title shot would depend on who the champion is.

I’ll break it down for you. Justin Gaethje is a purest and he’s not a Conor McGregor fan. Gaethje is more about giving the fight to the guy who deserves it. If Gaethje wins in May, Islam Makhachev will likely get the next shot at the lightweight title.

However, if Charles Oliveira takes out Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, he will get his choice and that choice will be McGregor. Oliveira would’ve taken out Gaethje, Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Tony Ferguson at that point. If anyone deserves to call their shot, it’s Do Bronx.

So, like it or not, there’s a very real possibility that Conor McGregor will fight for the UFC lightweight title when he returns this summer.