Conor McGregor in talks to make UFC return early in 2021 despite retirement

Conor McGregor has held talks with the UFC over a return to the Octagon early in 2021.

The former two-weight world champion retired from mixed martial arts for the third time in four years earlier this summer.

The Irishman cited a lack of available opponents as his hopes of a lightweight title shot took a hit.

But UFC president Dana White told ESPN: "We're working on some fun stuff for Conor for the start of next year.

"He should be back next year. I'm not saying he's coming back to fight guaranteed but we're talking right now about some stuff."

McGregor last fought when he stopped Donald Cerrone inside 40 seconds in January.

He had then planned to fight Justin Gaethje with the winner earning a shot at 155lb champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

But when the coronavirus crisis prevented Nurmagomedov fighting Tony Ferguson, Gaethje stepped in and outpointed Ferguson to earn his own title shot.

That left McGregor frustrated and his fight options limited and he decided to call it a day.

He has since endured further personal problems after he was arrested in Corsica last weekend followed an alleged incident.

McGregor is alleged to have exposed himself to a young married woman in a bar.

He was released without charge and has remained in the area, posting pictures on social media of his family on Thursday.

The 32-year-old had been due to take part in a 180km voyage to raise awareness of water safety alongside Princess Charlene of Monaco.

But he was forced to withdraw from the event following his arrest.

Earlier this week, McGregor posted a worrying message when he took to Twitter in response to a user who had alerted him to a BBC story which called him "English".

The user said: "They can have him. The BBC is correct, [ Conor McGregor ] is English.

McGregor replied: "[You work in] suicide intervention yet [you are] ridiculing me in this manner online, at this horrendous time in my life.

"I am trying to stay strong for my kids and the people that rely on me and that love and support me. Thanks for the insults, hypocrite.

"I can’t go on like this man. I am crushed here."

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