Conor McGregor is pushing back against the narrative that he won’t be returning to the UFC to fight Michael Chandler.
Last week the deadline for McGregor to re-enter the USADA drug testing pool in time to compete at the UFC’s final pay-per-view event came and went without any announcement of the Irish sports star’s addition. While there’s still a chance that “The Notorious” is back in the UFC’s mandatory anti-PED program and we’ll see his name appear in the sample database soon, it’s a slim one.
More likely: the UFC will grant McGregor an exemption from the six month testing requirement and just schedule him for a big event in November or December. They’re being awful quiet about the whole situation, though, leading to a lot of speculation that the extremely rich entrepreneur may not actually fight in 2023.
McGregor tweeted and then deleted a message to his fans and haters on his return.
“Placey Mcplacerson I am in the place. Ya’s’ll shut up and wait,” he wrote on Twitter. “Silence! A roar from the throne. Patience, peasants. Bring Proper Twelve, Forged Irish Stout, Tidl Sport. Bring me Gold and Plunder.”
It’s the kind of defiant response we’ve come to expect from Conor McGregor over the past several months. Upon the debut of his new Netflix documentary series ‘McGregor Forever,’ Conor made some pretty big claims about his eventual comeback.
“Not only just a return ... the greatest return in combat sports,” McGregor said in an exclusive interview released by the UFC. “This is going to be, you know, I’m gonna kick this guy [Chandler] in the head. He’s just tailor made for being kicked all over the place, and that’s what I’m aiming for.
“I’m aiming to wrap this steel bar around the opponent. And you’re gonna see a visual of the leg hanging off and then you’re going to see a visual of the head hanging off. So I’m excited for it and motivated for it. Steady, making my way towards it.”
McGregor hasn’t fought since breaking his leg badly in a 2021 fight against Dustin Poirier. It’s the kind of injury that ends careers, and “The Notorious” has been meticulous in the treatment and rehabilitation of the compromised limb. It’s what prompted him to quietly remove himself from the USADA testing pool in the first place, a move we hadn’t seen from any other UFC athlete before him.
Could McGregor still be too injured to compete in 2023? Could he still be receiving USADA-prohibited treatments in his quest to get back to one hundred percent? We have no solid details to go on, just the lack of movement on his USADA participation and the lack of a date for when he’ll fight Michael Chandler.
McGregor has promised an announcement sometime during the run of The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN, which runs until August 15th. For now, us peasants will have to be patient, just as King Conor has demanded.