Daniel Cormier Discusses Potential USADA Exemption for Conor McGregor and The Inevitable Fallout

Cormier takes a look at McGregor's potential return in December and the backlash that the promotion could face by granting a USADA exemption

Conor McGregor
Courtesy of @ShowtimeBoxing on Twitter

Conor McGregor has once again insisted that his fight with ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler will happen in October. 

The Irishman was spotted inside London’s iconic O2 Arena on Saturday for a high-profile boxing clash between Anthony Joshua and Robert Helenius. Sitting ringside, McGregor shared a few words with Gareth A. Davies about his impending return to the Octagon. During their conversation, McGregor once again insisted that he would be back in action this December for a long-awaited showdown with Michael Chandler. 

Despite his insistence, fans have continued to remain skeptical, often pointing toward the fact that McGregor has still not re-enrolled in the USADA testing pool for a required six months of pre-fight screening. 

UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier recently addressed this concern on his YouTube channel, suggesting that USADA could potentially offer up an exemption to the Irishman in the form of an accelerated testing period. 

“Maybe they have an accelerated program for Conor McGregor or a guy in his situation,” Cormier said. “A program where maybe they test McGregor more before the fight with Chandler. Because there really is no base amount of tests that you have to take in order to be eligible. It’s not like they say, ‘Six clean tests before you can fight.’ They may test McGregor more and maybe it’s not six months. Maybe it’s three months and he takes as many tests as he needs to in order to be cleared to fight.”

The Fallout of Allowing Conor McGregor to Fight in December

It wouldn’t be the first time that an exemption has been issued, as the promotion famously allowed Brock Lesnar to skirt the standard USADA protocols ahead of his return to the Octagon at UFC 200. The problem is, if this is in fact the type of exception that is made for Conor McGregor, how is that fair for every other fighter on the roster? 

Cormier also questions how USADA can continue to be taken seriously should they bend the rules for McGregor because of his high-profile status. 

“Here’s where the issue comes: You make that exception, then how do you implement this rule for the rest of the people? We’ve seen exceptions before and generally, they are for the most high-profile and best fighters in the world, which Conor McGregor does fit into that category,” Cormier continued. 

“My question is though, how do you implement and make the USADA program what it’s supposed to be where there is room for exceptions as it seems as though we’re going to get for Conor McGregor?”

Even if McGregor’s return is orchestrated through some questionable practices, the fact remains that many stand to benefit from his comeback. Perhaps none bigger than Michael Chandler who will collect the biggest payday of his career. Not to mention the money that the UFC will rake in. 

McGregor will also find himself with the best possible opportunity to get back in the win column, affording him the opportunity to book much bigger fights in the future, such as a BMF title showdown with Justin Gaethje

“A lot of people win in this situation. One being Michael Chandler, but also the fans because I can almost guarantee that a Conor McGregor fight against Michael Chandler is going to be fun, and that’s why it was initially set,” Cormier said.

“Because the fighting styles match. And for Michael Chandler, the highest-profile fight and the biggest opportunity. But for Conor McGregor, a guy that’s going to stand and trade with him, who is willing to have the fun fight in exchange for the safer fight that could ultimately lead him to victory.”

Published on August 14, 2023 at 5:51 pm
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