Conor McGregor’s potential return to the UFC is taking shape, with reports suggesting he’s one step closer to making his comeback. After his stint as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 31, McGregor is expected to face off against Michael Chandler.
However, the delay in officially booking their fight is due to McGregor’s pending re-entry into the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool. But that issue may have been sorted out.
In a recent Instagram post, McGregor hinted that he has initiated the process of rejoining the USADA testing program. He wrote: “Find my targets. Hit them. F*** the consequences. You’re going down. This is fighting. Sparring day with slick Nikolay Grozdev. Always a banger of a spar with the slick fella. Submitted my stuff to Novitzky. Ball rolling. See you soon, you little light work b****.”
Jeff Novitzky, who McGregor mentioned in the Instagram post, is the current senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance for the UFC. He oversees everything that has to do with doping or drug use in the UFC. A fighter must provide at least two negative samples over six months before becoming eligible to compete, that is according to USADA regulations.
While it remains uncertain if McGregor will be granted an exemption, the act of entering the testing pool is a significant step toward his return.
McGregor’s last fight took place in July 2021, when he suffered a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier, breaking his leg in the process. In a recent interview, Michael Chandler mentioned the possibility of their fight taking place at UFC 300, projected for April. If McGregor has indeed re-entered the USADA testing pool, this timeline aligns perfectly for an April return, and Chandler is prepared for the opportunity.
Chandler stated, “Best I can say, UFC 300 could possibly be what everyone is probably looking at. So, right around that six-month mark from there would make a lot of sense, but I haven’t set a date. I’m just a foot soldier ready for that phone call, and when that phone call comes in, I go to work.”
McGregor’s potential return to the octagon is something definitely worth looking forward to. Although controversial, he has been one of the most popular figures in the UFC and had some of the best fights of all time. His return could inject new life and drama into the sport, and there is no telling how good that might get.