There’s still hope for Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler in 2023, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White.
The Ultimate Fighter 31 (TUF) is well underway on ESPN with Team Chandler sporting an insurmountable 6-0 lead over Team McGregor. The mixed martial arts (MMA) community, along with Chandler, have been dying to get confirmation on when the battle of the coaches will go down. However, there’s still plenty of mystery regarding McGregor and his position with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which requires six months of testing before competing. McGregor has been absent from the pool since he broke his leg against Dustin Poirier in 2021 (watch highlights).
“100 percent [there’s a chance they fight this year],” White told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter (h/t MMA Fighting). “[McGregor’s] not [back in the USADA testing pool]. We’ll see how that plays out. They’re saying that now, but who knows. I don’t talk about s—t until s—t happens. To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea. I’m focused on what’s happening this Saturday, and then next Saturday. UFC 300 isn’t even in my mind right now.
“The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s going to play out — who cares what USADA says, we’ll see what happens when it happens so I don’t know,” he concluded.
The most recent episode of TUF 31 saw things finally heat up between the coaches. After McGregor’s sixth straight loss, he and Chandler squared off in the cage, resulting in “The Notorious” shoving Chandler in the face.
The scene quickly turned a bit comical as White had to sprint from his cageside seat and into the Octagon to separate the Lightweights.
“It started escalating, and nobody was getting in the middle of it,” White said. “So I realized that I had to do it. Not good. Because what people don’t understand when they see stuff like that happen, and they’re like, ‘Oh they love it!’ The commission doesn’t love it, and it’s bad when that stuff happens.
“It’s a pain in the ass for us, and it can mess a lot of things up,” he continued. “So that can never happen. I was waiting for somebody to jump in, and they didn’t, and instead of jumping in, it actually started to escalate, so not good.”