Michael Chandler believes Conor McGregor will return for their highly-anticipated fight within the next six months.
Now that four episodes of TUF 31 have aired, the MMA community is eagerly waiting for the McGregor vs. Chandler fight date to be announced. The UFC superstars were expected to meet in the Octagon once the season concluded, but a significant problem is preventing them from officially booking the fight.
McGregor has yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool, which requires six months of clean drug tests before becoming eligible. As a result, there is a growing suspicion that ‘The Notorious’ might not fight again until 2024.
“I think Conor [McGregor] is coming back. I don’t think he wants to stain in his legacy by leading us all down this road of I’m doing the Ultimate Fighter, I’m fighting Michael Chandler, oh, by the way, I’m not coming back… He’s coming back. Supposedly, there was a countdown with USADA, six months, all that other stuff. That’s not for me to choose or decide.”
Michael Chandler is confident he will fight Conor McGregor in the next six months
Earlier this month, Conor McGregor became ineligible to return in 2023 by USADA’s standards. Although the drug-testing agency has denied an exemption, Michael Chandler believes ‘The Notorious’ could be made eligible without the six months of clean tests.
During the same interview with Daniel Cormier, Chandler voiced his confidence in the highly-anticipated fight happening by the end of the year:
“People are talking about exemptions, of course, that’s all on the table. All I know is I’m controlling the controllables. I also know either way I’m gonna keep on moving forward. I do believe I fight Conor within the next six months, and it’s gonna be one of the biggest pay-per-views we’ve ever seen, and I’m gonna go out there and knock him out within the first two rounds.”
McGregor last fought in July 2021, when he suffered a gruesome injury that ended his fight against Dustin Poirier. Since then, ‘The Notorious’ has endured a lengthy recovery process, which he plans to overcome with a massive comeback.
Meanwhile, Chandler has fought three times since McGregor has been sidelined. During that time, ‘Iron’ went to war in a unanimous decision loss against Justin Gaethje and secured one of the wildest knockouts in UFC history against Tony Ferguson. The 37-year-old last fought in November 2022, losing an action-packed fight in the third round against Poirier.