This update was given by UFC President Dana White during an interview with TSN. White also expressed the organization’s intent to schedule a McGregor fight by the end of 2023. Previously, there have been indications of a match against Michael Chandler, fellow Ultimate Fighter 31 coach, but the date of such a match remains unannounced.
“McGregor is yet to rejoin the USADA testing pool,” White shared. “However, there’s definitely a 100% chance he fights this year.”
In May, it was confirmed by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) officials that they were in contact with McGregor’s team about his return to the drug testing pool, mandatory for all UFC athletes. McGregor left the UFC’s anti-doping program after sustaining a broken leg during a 2021 fight with Dustin Poirier.
Despite these discussions, McGregor has seemingly not returned to the drug testing pool. Although he stated in May that his issues with USADA had been resolved, he has not officially rejoined the UFC’s anti-doping program.
According to current USADA rules, all athletes coming out of retirement – McGregor’s technical status after leaving the anti-doping program while still under UFC contract – are required to undergo six months of drug testing and produce at least two negative samples before being allowed to compete.
As it’s already July, unless an exemption is granted, McGregor would not be able to fight in 2023 under the UFC’s anti-doping program rules.
The most notable instance of such an exemption was during UFC 200 in 2016, when Brock Lesnar was allowed to compete. However, Lesnar later tested positive for a banned substance, leading to his win against Mark Hunt being overturned and a subsequent one-year suspension from USADA.
The outcome for McGregor remains uncertain, with White appearing unfazed by the situation until a fight is officially scheduled.
“We’ll see how it unfolds,” White stated. “I don’t focus on hypotheticals. I’m focused on what’s happening this Saturday, and then the next. UFC 300 isn’t even on my radar right now. As for Conor’s situation, we’ll see what happens when it happens.”
USADA has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
In the meantime, there’s still no definitive word on McGregor’s next fight. However, he was involved in a physical altercation with Chandler during the filming of a reality show, aired on Tuesday.
The incident occurred after Chandler’s team remained undefeated for the season, leading to the elimination of McGregor’s teammate, Lee Hammond. McGregor reacted by shoving Chandler, causing White to intervene to prevent the situation from escalating further.
“It started escalating, and nobody was getting in the middle of it,” White explained. “I realized that I had to step in. It’s a hassle for us and can disrupt a lot of things, so it’s essential to prevent such occurrences. Instead of intervention, the situation began to escalate, which is not good.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Conor McGregor’s UFC Return
Has Conor McGregor returned to the UFC’s anti-doping program?
No, as of July 2023, Conor McGregor has not yet returned to the UFC’s anti-doping program.
Is there a scheduled fight for Conor McGregor in 2023?
The UFC intends to schedule a fight for Conor McGregor by the end of 2023, but there is no confirmed date yet.
Who might be Conor McGregor’s potential opponent for his return fight?
There have been speculations about a match between Conor McGregor and fellow Ultimate Fighter 31 coach, Michael Chandler, but no official announcement has been made yet.
What happens if McGregor doesn’t rejoin the UFC’s anti-doping program?
Unless he is granted an exemption, McGregor will not be allowed to compete in 2023, as per UFC’s anti-doping program rules which require athletes to undergo six months of drug testing and provide at least two negative samples before competing.
Has Conor McGregor been involved in any recent incidents?
Yes, Conor McGregor was involved in a physical altercation with Michael Chandler during the filming of a reality show. The incident was aired on television.
What is Dana White’s stance on Conor McGregor’s situation?
Dana White, UFC President, has stated that he is focused on immediate events and will deal with McGregor’s situation as it unfolds.