Ariel Helwani: Conor McGregor will fight again but likely not in 2023

Conor McGregor is an enigmatic yet controversial figure in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. While the Irishman’s next move remains uncertain, renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani firmly believes that McGregor will step back into the spotlight to compete again.

Initially, fans anticipated a showdown between McGregor and Michael Chandler as the duo served as coaches on the TUF series. This much-anticipated clash would have marked McGregor’s return to the ring since his unfortunate leg injury during the thrilling trilogy bout against Dustin Poirier in July 2021.

However, McGregor’s highly anticipated return hangs in the balance due to an ongoing dispute with the USADA. The organization is responsible for the UFC’s testing protocols.

The 34-year-old recently missed the deadline to re-enter the testing pool, barring him from competing before the end of 2023. Unless an exemption is granted, McGregor’s fans may have to wait until next year for his much-anticipated comeback.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding McGregor’s return, Ariel Helwani remains confident that the Irish icon will step back into the octagon once again.

In an interview with talkSPORT, Helwani said: “I think he’ll fight, will he fight this year? I don’t know, it’s looking unlikely but nothing would surprise me. But, I think we’ll see him fight again, I don’t think he’ll go out like this.”

Helwani also anticipates that the UFC may strategically hold McGregor’s comeback for a momentous event, such as UFC 300. The event is scheduled to take place in the upcoming spring, and would provide the perfect stage for McGregor to make his triumphant return to the octagon.

“He’s still relatively young and has a lot to prove in his mind. So, I think he’ll fight again and I wouldn’t be surprised if they just hold him at this point for UFC 300, which is coming up in the spring, but he will fight again.”