The official announcement of Conor McGregor’s return to mixed martial arts is anticipated by fans. Fans were hoping for a date when UFC President Dana White said on Feb. 4 that McGregor and Michael Chandler would serve as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 and compete at the end of the season. The former UFC Lightweight Champion is still not a part of the USADA testing pool, it was later discovered.
Peers of McGregor have expressed skepticism over his unwillingness to cooperate with USADA, suspecting that he is abusing drugs. For a period of six months prior to the hypothetical fight with Chandler, McGregor would have to submit to USADA testing. On May 19, Donagh Corby of The Mirror Fighting questioned the Irish superstar over his USADA status. After The Ultimate Fighter, McGregor said, he will announce his bout since the problem had been resolved.
Although he claimed to be in the USADA testing pool as of June 1, the former lightweight champion doesn’t appear to be. According to various news outlets, a pay-per-view event will take place on December 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fans speculate that this event might mark “Mystic Mac’s” comeback. He would have to join the testing pool by June 16, though.
It appears that the UFC is under pressure to announce McGregor vs. Chandler for this year as soon as possible. On June 4, White addressed the media at the post-press conference following UFC on ESPN 46 and provided an update on the lightweight matchup.
White revealed at the post-press conference that McGregor had called him and expressed his love for The Ultimate Fighter Season 31’s premiere. The UFC superstar still needs to commit to making his MMA comeback, so the fight isn’t officially set, he continued.
“I think being here and the environment and everything else, he felt it again. He wants to get back and fight. The one thing you guys have to understand is this kid has so much money, it’s like Khabib now. It’s like this guy has sh*t loads of money, and it’s hard to, you know, it’s hard to reel these guys back in and get them fired up to get in and fight,” said White.
White’s update doesn’t sound promising for McGregor and Chandler’s probable matchup. The fight might still take place, but it’s on the verge of failing. If McGregor is not prepared to compete, it could be time for Chandler to consider other choices.