Conor McGregor made a significant announcement about his imminent return to the UFC while sitting ringside at Anthony Joshua match. The renowned Irish combatant disclosed that he is gearing up for his next match, which is scheduled for December. Additionally, he said that Michael Chandler would be the opponent.
Amid the anticipation surrounding McGregor’s role as a coach for the latest season of TUF, MMA fans have been eagerly awaiting news of his much-anticipated UFC return. Despite months of speculation, he has not given an official statement and was notably absent from the USADA testing pool.
In spite of all this, McGregor asserted his imminent comeback to the octagon. During an interview conducted ringside at the Anthony Joshua match, he confirmed that he is slated to face off against none other than Michael Chandler in the month of December.
But a significant obstacle casts a shadow over McGregor’s proposed timeline. His current status outside the USADA testing pool implies that he is still six months away from being eligible to compete in the UFC unless an exemption is granted.
The UFC has previously granted exemptions under exceptional circumstances, with Brock Lesnar being a notable example. Unfortunately, Lesnar’s exemption was followed by a positive test for a prohibited s**stance after his next match.
Should McGregor’s exemption plea not be accepted, the earliest plausible date for his return bout would be February. This hinges on his swift re-entry into the USADA testing pool this present month.
He will next need to defeat Michael Chandler, before moving on to face Justin Gaethje.
Gaethje is currently a contender for the championship after defeating Dustin Poirier a few weeks ago. McGregor has only won once since 2016.
Looking ahead, the much-discussed trilogy clash between McGregor and Nate Diaz emerges as a logical and financially lucrative prospect. For both combatants, this match represents a considerable opportunity in their respective careers.
Currently it seems like Conor McGregor’s anticipated comeback might not materialize as early as December.