Ramping up his training recently amid links to a potential end-of-year Octagon return at UFC 296 in December, Conor McGregor has been backed to look “sharp” and “ready” for a return to combat sports competition by teammate, Ciaran Clarke.

McGregor, a former undisputed lightweight and featherweight champion under the banner of the UFC, has yet to feature inside the Octagon since he headlined a pay-per-view event back in July 2021 in a doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to arch-rival, Dustin Poirier, fracturing his left tibia and fibula in the first frame.

Sidelined in the time since, McGregor, who served as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 31 earlier this year against lightweight veteran, Michael Chandler, has been linked with a welterweight fight against the one-time title challenger, however, has yet to book an official date or event for a monumental comeback.

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And with the promotion’s reluctance to announce a headlining bout for their UFC 296 event on December 16. – which will come as their final flagship event of 2023, McGregor has welcomed the opportunity to headline the card against Kill Cliff FC staple, Chandler.

Gearing up for a return to fighting, McGregor, 35, was recently stopped training in Cannes, France, before returning to Dublin to take in multiple sparring sessions with fellow capital native, Ian Machado Garry.

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Conor McGregor backed to make successful return to UFC in December

Receiving his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt earlier this month to boot, the former two-weight champion has been backed to look more than ready when he competes again, by Bellator MMA contender and SBG Ireland teammate, Clarke.

“He’s (Conor McGregor) sharp,” Ciaran Clarke told All Out Fighting during a recent interview. “He’s just after receiving the Jiu-Jitsu black belt, which is well deserved because his movement and everything. And like I said his mind, his mind for the game, he’s so sharp mentally.”

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“And again, that was something that I learned from over there,” Clarke continued. “Resting when you need to, and giving 100 percent in every sessions. And as far as December, he’s gonna be really sharp, really ready for that fight [with Michael Chandler].” (Transcribed by MMA News)

Do you expect Conor McGregor to make a return to the Octagon at UFC 296?