Is Conor McGregor planning a return to the ring? Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor in 'serious talks' to fight Manny Pacquiao in Middle East?

Leave it to former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor to get the combat sports community talking about him ahead of the weekend. 

The charismatic 32-year-old who's undoubtedly one of the greatest self-promotors in mixed martial arts history tweeted on Friday that his next opponent will be boxing legend Manny Pacquiao for a bout that's allegedly occurring in the Middle East. 

Needless to say, a plethora of knowledgeable sources and individuals familiar with McGregor's antics are skeptical.

However, ESPN's Ariel Helwani is reporting that manager Audie Attar, who represents both McGregor and Pacquiao, claims there are serious talks about such a fight between the two stars. The UFC, which helped co-promote the August 2017 boxing match between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. that Mayweather easily won, is reportedly in favor of a McGregor-Pacquiao battle. 

Attar added that McGregor would return to the UFC after the Pacquiao contest. 

McGregor last fought in January when he toppled Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246. Earlier this month, UFC boss Dana White told ESPN the UFC is "working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year." 

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

Although he's in the middle of a latest "retirement" from the Octagon, McGregor remains in the UFC's mandatory drug-testing program. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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