Conor McGregor Gives Injury Update, Pays Respect to Chandler

Conor McGregor, UFC 264
Conor McGregor, UFC 264 Pre-Fight Press Conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

On a rare weekend off for the UFC, its biggest star fielded questions from fans.

Conor McGregor replied to a number of fans questions on social media on Saturday, covering topics from his recovery timetable after suffering a horrific broken leg in his third fight against Dustin Poirier earlier this year, to a potential trilogy bout with Nate Diaz.

Patience will win this race for me!”

In terms of the leg, according to McGregor,The fibula is fully healed. The medial side of the tibia is developing nice callous (sic) also. It is just patience now for it to form down through the bone to the lateral side of the tibia where the larger break occurred. It’s getting there. Patience will win this race for me!”

When asked whether the mental of physical aspect of recovery was harder, McGregor replied by saying “I celebrate this everyday! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! It’s stronger I am getting!

The time frame for full mixed martial arts sparring, he added, is April. “I will be full mixed martial arts sparring by April. Easily!” he wrote in response to another question. “By then a return will be imminent. But I must be patient. I will beat this!”

When he does return, as always, McGregor should have plenty of options for the remaining two fights on his current UFC deal. That’s a number McGregor also let slip on Saturday.

As for the options in terms of a return fight, while he didn’t select one, McGregor did state that the Nate Diaz trilogy fight was “a must.” Another name has also been making the rounds in connection to McGregor of late: former Bellator MMA lightweight champ Michael Chandler. That’s in large part due to Chandler himself campaigning for the fight, and showing the Irish star a boatload of respect in the process.

“I’ve got a ton of respect for Conor because what Conor has done — and people will discredit what he has done because of certain things that he has said — but what he has done is revolutionize the entire sport. The sport of mixed martial arts is better because Conor McGregor is in it,” Chandler told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting) recently. “It’s bigger and it’s got more eyeballs on it because of what Conor has done, so to share the octagon with him, that’s why I want to do it. It’s not the payday, it’s not the ‘red panty night,’ it’s not the thing that all these other fighters are chasing.”

McGregor paid respect in return. “Hard not to be impressed,” he said of Chandler. “In a game of inches he has been incredibly close each time! Could well be today’s champion.”