The potential Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler clash is still up in the air.
McGregor — Ireland’s favorite fighting son — returned to the mixed martial arts (MMA) spotlight this year as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31. Opposing McGregor on the other side has been Chandler, as the two are expected to collide at some point in the future.
Indeed, McGregor, 35, has yet to re-enter United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) testing pool, which requires six months of testing before a UFC athlete can compete (details here). Despite McGregor seeming to shift his interest in recent weeks, he says he’s still down to take on “Iron.”
“I’ll do it if they want, no prob,” McGregor tweeted. “I don’t think they want him no more tho. There’s loads of juicy fights around and my return date is my return date. I never gave a f—k about who it was. Ever. I’ll fight anyone. I’ll even fly them to me, ask [Paulie] Malinaggi. Flown in and bet around.”
McGregor’s last in-Octagon appearance took place in a trilogy bout versus Dustin Poirier in July 2021. “The Notorious” sought redemption after a second round knockout loss in their rematch from earlier that year, but found himself finished once more when breaking his leg in round one (watch highlights).
Chandler, meanwhile, last fought at UFC 264 in Nov. 2022, suffering a loss of his own to Poirier via a third round rear-naked choke (watch highlights). While Team McGregor recently started coming back on TUF 31, the Team Chandler lead has been too much to overcome as the season rolls into the secondary bracket. Should Chandler stick to his guns on obtaining the McGregor bout, he’ll have been out of action for a full year once they do square off. barring any USADA exemptions.
For more TUF 31-related news and notes click here.