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UFC’s Jon Anik lays out ‘ambitious’ plan for Conor McGregor’s return

Lead UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik still has high hopes for Conor McGregor’s future in the octagon.

Despite the uncertainty around a new date for McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) to make his highly-anticipated return from injury following his withdrawal from the UFC 303 main event vs. Michael Chandler this past month, Anik is not among those who don’t see “The Notorious” ever fighting again.

In fact, Anik thinks that once McGregor, 35, has his next fight scheduled, it will kick off a window where the world gets to witness him compete multiple times. It might seem unrealistic, but Anik maintains a high degree of hope about what’s on the horizon for the brash Irishman.

“I’ve been waxing optimistic on Conor for a long time,” Anik told MMA Junkie and other reporters in a recent interview on the 2024 UFC Hall of Fame red carpet. “I fully expect him to compete in 2024, to come back at a high level. Fight twice in eight months. I know it sounds ridiculous and super ambitious to some people, but I just know the mixed martial arts athlete is in there, and I just remain hopeful that he’s going to come back and make more of an impact than anyone expects that he will.”

The UFC brass managed to salvage the UFC 303 card in the aftermath of McGregor’s injury pullout for a broken pinkie toe. It put together Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka for the light heavyweight title as a replacement headliner, among other additions.

Ultimately, Anik would’ve preferred to call a McGregor fight on June 29. However, he is pleased with how the promotion responded.

“I messaged Conor after UFC 300 and I said, ‘Only thing bigger than 300 is McGregor vs. anybody,’” Anik said. “So the biggest thing we can do is have a Conor McGregor-led pay-per-view. That’s not our reality at (UFC 303), but this company obviously comes to the rescue and is able to present a deeper pay-per-view.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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