It’s a really big month for Conor McGregor. May 17th marks the premiere of his new docu-series “McGregor Forever” on Netflix. Then May 30, 2023, is when The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 kicks off on ESPN (watch trailer here). But, the most important date for most fans is the date “The Notorious” plans on stepping back in the cage.
We still have no idea when that’ll be, and UFC President, Dana White, claims he doesn’t know what’s going on with it, either. White was asked about McGregor vs. Chandler following the promotion’s UFC on ABC event in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I don’t know. That’s the most-asked question I’m getting right now,” he said. “Obviously, the season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ airs soon, and during that season we will be working very hard to put that fight together.”
TUF 31: Team McGregor vs. Team Chandler is set to run from May 30, 2023, to Aug. 15, 2023, and originally reports had the two coaches battling each other in September. That’s starting to look rather iffy as McGregor remains outside the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug testing pool. McGregor was allowed to leave the program while doctors treated the leg he broke against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. Standard protocol demands he spend six months back in the pool before being allowed to compete.
As of May 15, 2023, USADA’s testing database shows no results for McGregor this year. If he re-entered the program today, he’d be eligible to fight in mid-November.
We are in the pool! Happy Easter everybody ❤️ pic.twitter.com/G6jTtHiU50— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 9, 2023
That’s if he’s forced to go through the standard six month process, something USADA has publicly stated he should do. UFC has the right to waive that requirement and have McGregor return after just two negative tests. The promotion has done it before with Brock Lesnar and with Miesha Tate. Many expect McGregor to get the same consideration, despite his recent suspicious growth spurt from Lightweight to Welterweight.
So, what is taking so long?
It’s unclear why details haven’t been ironed out, and White isn’t giving us any hint at what the hold up is. Chandler has said he’s got no clue, either, which leaves us to blame McGregor, his injured leg, and whatever’s going on with his hormone levels.
For more on TUF 31 and other recent McGregor-related bits, click here.