Conor McGregor next fight: All we know about when the Notorious could return with UFC superstar ‘definitely’ fighting in early 2024
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Conor McGregor next fight: All we know about when the Notorious could return with UFC superstar ‘definitely’ fighting in early 2024

Nov 17, 2023

The saga surrounding Conor McGregor’s return to the UFC continues…

It has been over two years since the superstar broke his leg during his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier in what was the last time he set foot in the Octagon. 

McGregor hasn't fought since breaking his leg more than two years ago

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McGregor hasn’t fought since breaking his leg more than two years agoCredit: Getty

However, ‘Notorious’ is now fully fit and has been pursuing a fight with former three-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler

McGregor and Chandler have been going back and forth while the bout has been in the works, but there is yet to be an official date set. 

That’s due to many ongoing issues with the UFC, USADA, Dana White and more, so talkSPORT.com takes a look at what we know…

Conor McGregor next fight: Is his opponent confirmed? 

McGregor vs Chandler is likely to happen, with the Irishman’s opponent for his long-awaited return to the UFC booked in. 

READ MORE ON Conor McGregor

Confirming who he will be fighting on his comeback in October, Notorious told All Out Fighting: “Yes, it has to be [Chandler]. 

“Chandler, sit down and wait and shut your mouth, yeah?

“The Mac will be here soon. [I’m] en route. En route, son. En route.

“It’s imminent. It’s imminent.” 

McGregor and Chandler have been going back and forth

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McGregor and Chandler have been going back and forth
Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh reveals ‘definite’ comeback timeline and outlines goal for 2024

Conor McGregor next fight: When will it happen? 

The pair were tipped to take the Octagon before the end of the year but the headline slot on the final event of 2023 has already gone to Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington

This date was always going to be unlikely though, due to McGregor only just returning to the UFC’s testing pool, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). 

USADA’s rules require fighters who re-enter their testing pool to submit random samples for six months before returning to action. 

Therefore this meant McGregor would not be able to fight until April 2024. 

The UFC have the power to overrule the six-month testing period if it is deemed unfair on a specific fighter. 

But despite Dana White, the UFC’s CEO, pushing for him to return to action imminently, USADA did not allow this to apply for Notorious. 

The dispute between McGregor, White and USADA went on for months and hit its final breaking point when it was announced that the partnership with the UFC will end from January 1. 

This means that the six-month rule will not have to be honoured from January 1 onwards, with McGregor able to fight at any point from that date. 

Therefore, the superstar’s return to the UFC against Chandler is expected to happen sometime in the new year.

A date is still yet to be confirmed but McGregor is confident that there will be a solution to the delay soon…

USADA have delayed McGregor's comeback

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USADA have delayed McGregor’s comeback

Conor McGregor next fight: What has been said? 

McGregor revealed more about the date for his return to the octagon following Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou.

He told TNT Sports: “Hopefully April, they’re saying April.

“I’m happy. I would’ve loved December, I would’ve loved it earlier, I would’ve dialled in earlier, but I want to be honest – not just to myself but to my fans and whatnot.

“April’s a lovely run-up for me. I would be happy with that.”

‘Notorious’ then responded to a fan on social media, saying: “I am confident we get the set date.

“There is no one holding no one back. A lot goes on behind the scenes but all involved are working hard to make it happen.”

McGregor’s coach John Cavanagh has also confirmed that the bout will ‘definitely’ be happening in early 2024.

He said: “He’s training very regularly now, he’s very committed.

“We have no date set yet, but within the first half of next year, he’ll definitely have his comeback.

“Conor just wants to fight. If you offered him a fight this Saturday, he’d take it.

“If it’s UFC 300, great! We just wanna get back in there, get busy, and hopefully get a few fights together.”

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