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Dana White insists Michael Chandler is next for Conor McGregor: ‘He likes to f— with everybody’

Calm down, everyone. Conor McGregor won’t be fighting Justin Gaethje or Floyd Mayweather next.

Dana White was back in front of the mixed martial arts (MMA) press last night (Tues., Aug. 8, 2023) after a few weeks on vacation, and UFC’s president had a lot to say about all the recent combat sports drama in his promotion and beyond.

Following the Season 7 debut of Contender Series (full recap here), White gave an update on Conor McGregor’s elusive return to the cage. McGregor has been out of action since July 2021 with a bad leg break injury (see it). A coaching gig opposite Michael Chandler on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 is supposed to lead to a fight between the two sometime near the end of the year, but “The Notorious” has been talking about fighting Justin Gaethje instead (or Dustin Poirier or Nate Diaz or Leon Edwards or Floyd Mayweather ...).

Basically, anyone except “Iron” Mike. That’s all just mental warfare, according to White. McGregor’s next opponent is “definitely” Chandler.

“He likes to f— with everybody,” White said. “You know what I mean? Especially his opponent, or possible opponents.

“I talked to Conor, either yesterday or the day before, and yeah, he’s ready to fight,” White continued. “I said, ‘Listen, get in shape and let’s figure this out.’”

McGregor has spent more time on social media pumping new Forged Irish Stout than he has preparing for a fight. And why not, when the stout market is valued at more than $10 billion. While other fighters are just beginning to sniff at eight-figure payouts, McGregor is chasing an 11-figure nut. At this point, he’s kind of dumb to put his time and effort into cage fighting, to be honest.

His booze business is tied to his personal brand, though, and if McGregor isn’t fighting then people aren’t paying as much attention to everything else he’s selling. That certainly gives him more than enough reason to tease fights without actually competing.

Will McGregor step back into the cage in 2023? White has said there’s “a lot of business that needs to be handled” to make it happen. It’s looking more and more unlikely as the weeks go by and McGregor remains outside the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug testing program.

Will he fight eventually? The Mac insists he will, but as White said: he likes to f— with everybody.

For more TUF 31-related (and Conor McGregor) news and notes click here.

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