Dana White has urged Conor McGregor to hold off on fighting Manny Pacquiao until next year and instead focus his efforts on the UFC lightweight title.
There have been rumours that a boxing bout between McGregor and Pacquiao could take place some time this year, with the Filipino fighter showing interest in a showdown with the Irishman.
“Right now, I want to experience fighting a MMA [mixed martial artist]. I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino Covid-19 victims,” Pacquiao said.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 12, 2021
However, the UFC president believes that McGregor should stick with his preferred style of fighting, hinting that he would be willing to give him a title shot this year.
“I would love to see him focused on what he can do here at the UFC.
“Whether it’s take another shot at that title against Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or fight for the title against somebody else if Khabib retires and defend that title.”
“A boxing match with any of these guys, that stuff’s always going to be there. You are the absolute best in the world right now in MMA and the timing is right now. [You’re] not getting any younger.
“I’d love to see him go for it here over the next year. If he wants to fight one of these boxing guys, do that next year. That fight’s always going to be there,” White commented.
McGregor’s plans for 2021
The Dubliner is competing in the UFC in his next fight, taking on fellow lightweight contender Dustin Poirier for the second time in his career on the 23rd of Januray at UFC 257.
However, that fight could well be his only appearance in the octagon this year if he decides to take on Manny Pacquiao.
While McGregor is unlikely to ever get his hands on a world title in boxing, the payday is far greater than any he would get in the UFC.