McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) broke his leg in a doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021, and is yet to return. Fellow former UFC champions Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman also broke their legs in the cage and never were the same when they returned.
Silva went 1-5-1 in his return from that injury. Weidman fractured his other leg in a unanimous decision loss to Brad Tavares at UFC 292 in August. But Rogan argues that McGregor will be younger than the two when he makes his expected return in 2024.
“If it wasn’t for his leg snap, he’s still in the prime of his career. But that leg snap is a real problem,” Rogan said on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. “I mean, if he does, he’ll be the first. And if anybody does, maybe he can do it. If anybody can do it, maybe it’s him because he snapped his leg in the prime of his career. Anderson was a little older. I believe he was 36 or 37 when he snapped his leg. Chris Weidman was a little older.
“It’s a hard one to come back from. Nobody really comes back from that one. You have to have plates, and also, you’ve got to think the differences – you’re kicking, you’re taking kicks. Guys are going to kick you in that shin for sure. They’re going to kick you in your calf. (You’ll have) nerve damage – all the above. I don’t know the extent of how much damage was done, but it’s been two years.”
McGregor’s comeback fight is projected to be against Michael Chandler, whom he coached Season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite side. However, his return has been delayed as he’s yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool which is required in order for him to be eligible to compete.
Rogan is confident McGregor can defy the odds, but worries about his drive.
“I just think that if anybody can do it, it’s going to be Conor,” Rogan said. “If anyone is going to come back from that and fight again, it’s going to be Conor. But it’s that famous Marvin Hagler quote: ‘It’s hard to get out of bed and run in the cold when you’re sleeping in silk sheets.’ When you’re the champ and you’re rich as f*ck like he is, he doesn’t have to do nothing forever. He’s got generational wealth, but he’s still in the prime of his athletic career.”