Conor McGregor Reveals He Was Supposed to Return at UFC 224 Until Bus Melee in Brooklyn

Conor McGregor reveals that he was actually supposed to fight at UFC 224 in Brazil before an incident in Brooklyn pushed back his return date.

Conor McGregor was close to a return to the UFC earlier this year but an assault on a bus and an arrest in Brooklyn ultimately sidelined those plans.

On Wednesday, McGregor reveled in his latest jump up the highest paid athletes list from Forbes where he went from No. 24 in 2017 to No. 4 in 2018.

McGregor reportedly made $99 million with the biggest bulk of that money coming from his showdown with Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.

Now it appears McGregor could have jumped even higher on the list if he would have come to terms with the UFC on a new deal that would have seen him compete at UFC 224 in May.

“Made it to number 4 on the Forbes list this year,” McGregor wrote on Instagram. “If I had of fought on the agreed May 12th bout in Rio De Janeiro, I would have surpassed [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi to take 2nd place.

“Something came up however…ah well, still under 30.”

In April, McGregor had come to New York ahead of UFC 223 in hopes of cementing a new deal with the promotion that would include his return to action. McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC since 2016 and his plan was to meet with UFC president Dana White to hopefully iron out the details on a new contract.

Unfortunately, McGregor opted to go after lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov instead after an altercation unfolded with Artem Lobov during fight week. Lobov is a close friend and teammate of McGregor and after the former two-division champion saw what unfolded, he went berserk just days ahead of UFC 223 and ended up assaulting a bus and injuring two fighters — none of whom were Nurmagomedov.

McGregor ended up being arrested and charged with two misdemeanor assaults and a felony charge for criminal mischief.

That also put an end to McGregor’s planned negotiations with the UFC where the promotion had reportedly floated the idea of an interim welterweight title fight with Rafael dos Anjos in Brazil as part of the UFC 224 card on May 12.

Dos Anjos has been part of the interim welterweight title plan for quite some time as he was also attached to a rumored bout for UFC 224 against Colby Covington. That fight was later finalized with dos Anjos now facing Covington at UFC 225 this weekend in Chicago.

Whether or not McGregor was ever actually part of the plan is unclear and unconfirmed.

As for McGregor, he’s still awaiting an upcoming court date on June 14 to deal with his legal problems in New York. The Irish fighter is also expected to finally schedule that meeting with White sometime between now and his court date to hopefully hammer out a new contract and plot his return to action in 2018.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.