UFC expertly toes the line between sport and entertainment and they often use UFC rankings to do it.
On paper, UFC rankings are comprised of the tallied of votes of 22 media members. The rankings have been a bit random considering there are plenty of questions surrounding the mysterious panel and UFC’s potential influence on the voting.
One case in particular casts a large shadow over the process – the case of Conor McGregor. While some athletes get dropped from the ranking as soon as they opt out of USADA pool (or get suspended), McGregor hung in there for an entire year of inactivity.
He last competed against Dustin Poirier back in the summer of 2021 – but even before that he had a single contest at 155lbs and had commonly opted to compete against lightweights at welterweight (170lbs).
But McGregor’s star is veining and there’s a big question mark next to his return – in part due to the fact that he suffered an injury so grave that nobody was really able to fully return after it (although Anderson Silva might’ve been closest).
McGregor first landed a position in the featherweight top 15 in 2014 ahead of his UFC Dublin headliner with Diego Brandao.
USADA recently announced they were making yet another exception for McGregor – in light of him presumably taking PEDs to fully recover from the catastrophic injury.
There’s still no hope on the horizon for McGregor fans. Despite his tweets detailing February as the likely return, he would still need to spend a while in the USADA pool to get consecutive passing tests.
White recently had a softball interview with ESPN and rebuffed questions about McGregor’s return saying:
“Believe me when I tell you, when Connor calls and says, ‘Dana, I’m ready, let’s do this, I’m getting back in camp,’ – I’ll let everybody know.”
When asked: “If you had to set a line on the three most likely Conor McGregor opponents when he comes back, what are the odds you would set?”
“Well, it’s hard to say because it’s going to depend on when he comes back. But I mean, this is a no brainer, a fun fight as him and Chandler and you know that’s already two talk has already started with that one, but that’s a fun fight.”
When pressed on what he meant by talk White clarified he meant social media banter between the two.