- Initially aimed for December fight against Michael Chandler.
- Overlooked enrolling in UFC’s drug testing program since 2021.
- McGregor acknowledged the improbability of December fight.
After initially resisting the reality for approximately a week, Conor McGregor has finally embraced the fact that his much-anticipated UFC comeback will not transpire this year.
McGregor had been resolute in his stance that his UFC return would entail a matchup against Michael Chandler in December. However, he seemed to overlook the prerequisite of enrolling in the UFC’s drug testing program, which he had been absent from since 2021. In a series of voice notes, McGregor conceded, “They’re not going to let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen.”
He expressed his eagerness, emphasizing, “I’m ready, yeah. I want in. I wanted the announcement, December 16.” Despite his readiness, McGregor came to terms with the reality that his desired December fight was improbable, stating, “It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.” He retained his optimism and autonomy, asserting, “I hold the power, and I’m going to keep doing my thing.”
McGregor’s last octagon appearance was during a bout with Dustin Poirier, after which he endured nearly a two-year hiatus following a severe leg break at UFC 264 in July 2021.
In an earlier mid-August declaration, McGregor outlined a three-fight plan, naming Michael Chandler as his desired opponent for December, followed by Justin Gaethje for the “BMF” belt, and concluding with a trilogy against Nate Diaz.
The announcement faced a backlash, as several MMA professionals contended that McGregor should fulfill the mandatory six-month drug testing prerequisite before competing. In accordance with UFC policy, all fighters are mandated to complete six months of drug testing before entering a fight.
It is worth noting that an exception to this requirement is possible under “exceptional circumstances.” This defense was previously employed by former UFC star Brock Lesnar, enabling him to participate on short notice against Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in 2016. Although Lesnar initially secured a unanimous decision, subsequent drug test failures led to the overturning of the result to a no-contest.
In the wake of these developments, McGregor has come to terms with the timeline challenges posed by the mandatory drug testing program.
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