Last Sunday, McGregor reversed his stance on fighting in the December 16 pay-per-view event, a week after he announced that he was probably going to fight Michael Chandler, his rival coach on The Ultimate Fighter 31.
He stated, “They’re not going to let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen,” in a series of voice messages published on platform X. These messages appeared shortly after UFC President Dana White dismissed the idea of a December fight, aiming instead for McGregor’s comeback in early 2023.
Initially, UFC 296 had been planned as the venue for McGregor’s showdown with Chandler. However, McGregor was required to participate in a six-month drug testing process overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, but he failed to sign up on time.
Although the UFC has the option to exempt McGregor from the six-month requirement, as it once did with Brock Lesnar (which led to Lesnar failing a drug test, subsequent suspension, and embarrassment for the UFC and USADA), the situation is complicated.
McGregor has expressed hopes that the Nevada Athletic Commission, the entity regulating combat sports in Nevada, might assist him. However, he seemed unaware or forgot that the official who previously aided him in acquiring a boxing license, Bob Bennett, had retired in 2021.
“I’m ready,” insisted McGregor. “I want in. I was ready for the announcement on Dec. 16. I’ve given my all, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.” He also added confusion and frustration about the situation but maintained confidence in his position and expressed readiness for a possible early next year return.
He made a specific call to the retired Bob Bennett of the Nevada Athletic Commission, expressing frustration over being denied his livelihood, only to discover that Bennett had retired. McGregor’s voice displayed his irritation and determination, underlining his long-standing dominance in the game.
Dana White had named Chandler as McGregor’s next opponent after the latter called out Justin Gaethje following Gaethje’s knockout win over Dustin Poirier. McGregor has set his sights on Chandler, Gaethje, and a trilogy with his two-time adversary Nate Diaz for his upcoming three matches.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Conor McGregor
What was Conor McGregor’s initial plan for UFC 296?
Conor McGregor initially planned to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 296 on December 16 but has since backtracked on this intention.
Who was Conor McGregor hoping to get help from, and why was he unable to?
He was hoping to get help from the Nevada Athletic Commission, specifically Bob Bennett. However, he was unaware or forgot that Bob Bennett had retired in 2021.
Why is McGregor unable to fight in December at UFC 296?
McGregor needed to spend six months in a drug testing pool administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and he missed the cutoff to enroll. The UFC could have granted an exemption, but the decision seems to be leaning towards not allowing the fight in December.
What are Conor McGregor’s expressed feelings about the situation?
McGregor expressed frustration and confusion about not being able to fight in December but maintained confidence in his position and readiness. He also indicated a possible return early next year.
Who did UFC President Dana White name as the next opponent for McGregor?
Dana White named Michael Chandler as the next opponent for McGregor, following McGregor’s call-out of Justin Gaethje.
What was the embarrassment involving Brock Lesnar and UFC 200?
Brock Lesnar was granted an exemption from a six-month drug testing window when he returned to fight at UFC 200. He subsequently failed a drug test and was suspended for a year, causing embarrassment for both the UFC and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.