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Conor McGregor was hoping to make his UFC return in December against Michael Chandler, but it appears he’s accepted that’s unlikely to happen after he didn’t re-enter the USADA testing pool in time.
“They won’t let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen,” McGregor said in a series of audio notes on X (h/t Mike Bohn from MMA Junkie). “Have you seen Chris Weidman [at UFC 292]. Imagine what this injury is. I feel like I’ve been deprived of my livelihood, and I’ve felt it for years. I will not voice any grievances. I will float and carry on. I’m ready. I wanted an ad for [UFC 296 on] December 16. I gave everything. So it won’t happen. It doesn’t seem to be happening.”
Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA
Just a week ago, McGregor drawn an ambitious plan for his return to the Octagon, naming three opponents he covets.
“Chandler then in December, then [Justin] Gaethje, BMF and then we’ll do the Nate [Diaz] trilogy,” McGregor told TalkSport.
However, the UFC’s USADA-run anti-doping program requires fighters to be in the testing pool for at least six months and produce at least two drug tests before being cleared to compete. McGregor has been out of the test group since breaking his leg in his July 2021 fight against Dustin Poirier.
The UFC once granted Brock Lesnar a bye to skip the six-month testing period to compete at UFC 200 in 2016, but he later tested positive for a banned substance. Granting McGregor a similar exemption probably wouldn’t sit well with other fighters.
McGregor coached Chandler on the 31st season of reality competition series The Ultimate Fighter. The two are supposed to fight at some point, but Chandler recently admitted that he is losing patience while waiting for McGregor.
Bohn noted that UFC President Dana White said after Saturday’s UFC 292 that there was no update on the timing of McGregor’s potential return and that it would more likely happen. in 2024.
McGregor did not address his test status in his series of audio notes, but he pleaded with Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and the Nevada Athletic Commission to find a way to facilitate his return.
“I hold the power,” McGregor said. “I’m gonna keep doing my thing. I’m in a great place, and I’ll see you soon. Fuck early next year, hopefully. Please God, someone. Ari, Ari. My man. I’m ready, yeah? December 16, I’m ready. Nevada State Athletic Commission, Bob Bennett may have retired. Don’t retire. ‘Cause when I’m around the ring, Bob Bennett. Tell the commission what the story is, because I’m being robbed of my livelihood here. Turns out Bob’s retired and I’m like, ‘What the hell is this? Damn ‘I’ve been out of this game the longest. I’m on top of this yacht by the minute, but I’m on top of the game for a long time.’