Conor McGregor’s manager Audie Attar has vowed that the Irishman “is not slowing down” as he gave an update on his client’s UFC comeback in January, with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone the man he is most likely to face.
McGregor announced during a press conference in Moscow last month that January 18 was the date being targeted for his eagerly-anticipated return to MMA.
Cerrone has been talked about as McGregor’s opponent for months, with ‘Cowboy’ himself lobbying for the fight to take place.
UFC president Dana White previously stated that a deal was far from being done and that Cerrone even messaged him querying the rumors that he would be McGregor’s next dance partner.
Without naming names, Attar has confirmed that a deal could come in the next few weeks, with “talks progressing” ahead of what would be another monumental return to the Octagon for ‘The Notorious’.
“I would say that talks have been progressing,” he told the South China Morning Post.
“We’ve met them, we’re in close communication with them. I would hope that an announcement could happen in the coming weeks, but at the end of the day, it’s still a work in progress.”
McGregor’s last outing came at UFC 229 in October 2018, where his bitter feud with Khabib Nurmagomedov came to a halt after the Dagestani submitted his rival with a neck crank in the fourth round.
Since then, Nurmagomedov has defended his title against Dustin Poirier, while McGregor has had his fair share of alleged legal troubles to deal with.
But Attar has had it clear in his mind since McGregor’s loss to ‘The Eagle’ that there was no way he would bow out from a storied career in MMA with a whimper.
“I always knew he wasn’t going to end on that note,” the Paradigm Sports Management CEO added. “When you look back to when he was winning fights, he was fighting often. He wasn’t fighting once a year, he was fighting often, he was staying active.
“He never has to fight one fight more in his life. At the end of the day, that’s the thing people forgot about him; he actually is a competitor. He dares to do things differently.
“He strives for greatness and dreams for things that nobody thought that he could accomplish, and he’s doing that again. That’s what’s exciting. It’s exciting to be a part of that and witness that and see that fire in him again. I love it.”
McGregor made history just over three years ago at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the second round to become the first fighter to hold two world titles in two weight classes simultaneously.
The 31-year-old had won the featherweight world title in December 2015 by finishing Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, before picking up the lightweight strap 10 months later against Alvarez.
And despite his latest loss, which followed on from a debut defeat in the boxing ring to all-time great Floyd Mayweather, Attar doesn’t see a fighter in McGregor that wants to take things easy.
“I don’t see him slowing down,” he said.
“I think that fighting once a year for the last couple of years, it’s almost like it’s grown his appetite to stay active. In any sport, the more reps you take, the better you get. He’s no stranger to becoming a world champion multiple times over. He knows what it takes.”