Conor McGregor reveals ideal timeline for return after UFC 303 injury withdrawal

Three weeks from the day that Conor McGregor suffered a broken toe, he’s itching to return to the cage as soon as possible.

McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) was in attendance Saturday at 3Arena in Dublin for Bellator Champions Series to corner teammate Sinead Kavanagh on the main card. McGregor revealed backstage to Severe MMA that his toe is still giving him issues despite stem cell treatment.

“We just adjust,” McGregor said. “Everything is moving. Everything is moving parts, so I’m good. The injury is a nuisance. It’s painful. I’m not going to lie. It’s very, very painful – probably even more than the leg, and that’s the truth. I’ll tell you why: The leg was at least wrapped up. I couldn’t access it. The foot is just there still. It’s like it’s exposed or something. It’s a bit painful, but it comes with the territory. I need to just dial it in, get my training camps correct.”

McGregor, who still is in slippers to ease the pain of moving around on the injury that caused him to withdraw from UFC 303 vs. Michael Chandler, said he aims to return sometime in the two-to-three-month range. The UFC nor its CEO Dana White has shed any light on their hopes or plans for that return.

“August-September … August-September, I’d love,” McGregor said. “You know the way it is. I’m in recovery mode.”

Regardless, McGregor thinks he made the right move to withdraw from the bout, particularly since the most recent time he competed was in 2021 when he fractured his leg in a fight vs. Dustin Poirier. It wasn’t an easy choice, McGregor said.

“The UFC has been stellar,” McGregor said. “They’ve really gone above for me. I’m so grateful for that because I was in a dark place. Now, I’m all right. I’m coming. I’m all right. I’m getting there again. I’m ready to go again – soon enough. I’m just very appreciative of them assisting me. I’m sad for the fans that wanted the entertainment of the pay-per-view, of the press conference and the pay-per-view and the card and all. But look, it was just one of those damned things.

“How could I justify making that walk again and then be stationary, flat on the feet, and then saying to my fans afterward, ‘Oh, this happened but I made the walk for you guys’? The fans have seen this. I can’t do it again. If you’re paying that much, you deserve to see the best of me. So that’s what they’re going to see. It’s on me now and my team of coaches and my team of training partners to really dial it in and make sure that happens – and I’m confident we will.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie