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Conor McGregor won’t fight before next May, UFC chief Dana White says

Conor McGregor celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports)
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Fight fans hoping for another Conor McGregor bout in early 2017 got some disappointing news on Friday, courtesy of Dana White.

“He won’t fight before May,” the UFC president told the Los Angeles Times.

McGregor, who knocked out Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight strap at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12, isn’t injured. Nor is McGregor taking a break as a negotiating tactic as he tries to wrangle equity out of UFC’s new owners, Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG. According to White, McGregor is taking an extended break to protect his pregnant girlfriend, Dee Devlin.

“His girl gets super stressed out when he fights. He doesn’t want her having any of that stress while she’s pregnant,” White said, adding, “He’s good. He should take time off. He’s been fighting nonstop. … It’s good for him and her and it’s good for the baby.”

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These are tender sentiments for such a brutal sport, but White likely won’t ruminate on them for long. He has other matters to tend to at the moment, including promoting the much-anticipated return of Ronda Rousey to the octagon at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.

Rousey made a surprise appearance at UFC 205’s weigh-ins last week to face off against her opponent, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Her appearance lasted just long enough for photographers to capture the moment before the 29-year-old fled the stage. But to some, it appeared Rousey took off early, leaving UFC announcer Joe Rogan, who looked ready for an interview, hanging.

According to White, however, there was never supposed to be an interview.

“First of all, she was never supposed to speak and neither was Amanda,” White said (via Fox Sports) earlier this week. “My production guys screwed that thing up. It made Ronda look bad again like she just stormed off. … We’re not perfect all the time.”