‘Money can’t buy Conor McGregor another UFC title – but he’s not finished yet’

Conor McGregor will return to the UFC Octagon – and a third title reign isn't out of the question just yet.

That is the view of former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who now works as a broadcaster for the promotion and has a keen interest in a potential bout between the former featherweight and lightweight champion and Michael Chandler.

The Irishman is currently facing off against the American on The Ultimate Fighter reality series, but UFC president Dana White hasn't been able to sign off on a bout with McGregor yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool – which has a six month requirement to fight.

Bisping reckons he's seen enough desire from McGregor to suggest that he will fight again after back-to-back defeats against Dustin Poirier – and says he has plenty of respect for McGregor despite a previous feud.

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Sitting down with Daily Star Sport in London, Bisping said: "He loves fighting but… all the money in the world can buy a lot of things.

"But he can't buy a lightweight championship and money can't buy you respect in the fight game. I'm not saying he doesn't have respect, but it's dipped.

"It certainly has depending on who you speak to – and I think he wants to (get that back) as fighters, we pride ourselves in our fighting ability.

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"We hold it so close to our hearts and I think he still yearns, given all his money and I respect him for this, that he still wants to compete.

"So I do believe he will fight again. I hope the fight with Michael Chandler is the one I believe that that fight will happen. So I don't know when it will happen, but I'm pretty sure his return will happen."

Bisping spoke to the media regarding his role as key partner in UFC Gyms UK with plans to open over 100 locations across the UK and Ireland over the next decade – and the flagship 7,500 square feet site opening in City Road in a matter of months.

Bisping, who has already run a branded UFC gym in California, saw the opportunity to spread out in the UK where gyms have impressed in both Nottingham and Woking.

Bisping said: "When I first went into a UFC gym in California and I couldn't believe what I saw, you know, it was just the energy in the gym is what really struck me."

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One thing that struck the UFC commentator and Hall of Fame inductee was the inclusivity of the gyms – even for those who have no interest in fighting.

The venues are for fitness purposes first and foremost with men, women and young adults of all ages able to find workouts and classes that suit them.

Having bought the rights to UFC Gyms UK as part of an inspired team, the 10-year partnership will include more than 100 locations in the next decade.

For more information on the London opening follow @ufcgymcityroad on Instagram or visit www.ufcgym.london. For franchise details, click here www.ufcgym.co.uk/franchise

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