A representative for the United States Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that Conor McGregor will be re-entering the testing pool ahead of his highly anticipated return later this year.
The Irishman is expected to make his first walk to the Octagon before 2023 comes to a close, squaring off against high-octane lightweight ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler. Before the two men can meet in the cage, McGregor must subject himself to no less than six months of USADA screening. Many fans, and some fighters, have become skeptical in recent months as to whether or not the fight would actually happen given McGregor’s delayed re-entry.
On Friday, the former two-division champion quelled those concerns, revealing that he had already taken the steps to re-enter the testing pool.
“That’s done,” McGregor responded when asked about getting back into the UFC’s anti-doping program during a media scrum on Friday. “By year end, I’m back in that cage having competed. I’m gearing up now, ready to go.
Before returning to the Octagon, Conor McGregor will feature in the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, set to begin airing on May 30, as he coaches opposite his expected opponent. McGregor also stated that an official date for the matchup will be released once the newest season of TUF concludes this August.
“[The fight against] Michael Chandler, it will be announced during The Ultimate Fighter,” McGregor said. “The Ultimate Fighter is airing in a couple of days on ESPN, and by the time that show finishes, we’ll have a date and it will be set for the fans.”
USADA Confirms They Have Been in Contact with Conor McGregor
USADA issued a statement, confirming that they have had direct contact with Conor McGregor and are anticipating his paperwork to begin the process.
“We have recently been in direct contact with Conor McGregor, and as he confirmed today in the media, we expect to receive his paperwork coming out of retirement and re-entering the USADA testing pool immediately,” a USADA official wrote in the statement. “Like other athletes who come out of retirement, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, McGregor will be subject to testing for at least six months and must provide at least two negative samples before being permitted to compete.
“The purpose of this rule is to ensure that all athletes who are not subject to a period of testing are adequately tested over a reasonable period of time before competing to ensure a level playing field for all athletes.”
To be cleared for competition by USADA, Conor McGregor will need to undergo six months of testing during which he must provide at least two negative samples. By starting the process now, the earliest possible date for his return would be this November when the UFC returns to Madison Square Garden in NYC. No official details have been made regarding the event, but recent reports suggest that the promotion is targeting a UFC heavyweight title fight between reigning champion Jon Jones and general consensus heavyweight GOAT Stipe Miocic.
If Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler is added to the event, it would make for one of the biggest 1-2 punches in the promotion’s 30-year history.