After months of speculation and anticipation, UFC President Dana White has finally shed light on the return of Conor McGregor, the former two-division champion.
McGregor, a renowned figure in mixed martial arts, has been absent from the UFC since his defeat to Dustin Poirier in July 2021 due to a leg injury. This hiatus has only amplified anticipation for his return, with fans eagerly speculating on his next opponent and the nature of his comeback.
A potential blockbuster fight looms with Michael Chandler, a former lightweight title contender who last fought in November of the previous year. This matchup is speculated to be the headliner for UFC 300 in April, a landmark event that demands the star power of athletes like McGregor and Chandler.
And now, White has provided key updates regarding McGregor’s return. “Talked to him [McGregor] yesterday too,” White told Adam Glyn.
“He’s good. He’s ready. He wants the [fight]. He’s gotta sit out the six months to get back into their drug testing pool. Realistically, we could be looking at him next summer.”
Daniel Cormier, a former two-weight champion and Hall of Fame inductee, expressed his expectations for the event. “UFC 300 has to have a name like that,” Cormier said, emphasizing the need for high-profile fighters to mark such a significant event in UFC history.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, the weight class for McGregor’s return has yet to be confirmed. Chael Sonnen, a former MMA fighter and commentator, finds this ambiguity unusual. “Never in history have we had a fight where we don’t have a weight class,” Sonnen remarked, highlighting the irregularity of the current scenario.
McGregor’s motivation for returning to the UFC has been a subject of much debate. Sonnen suggests that financial incentives might be a significant factor, given McGregor’s varied interests and activities outside the Octagon. However, McGregor’s recent statements reaffirm his focus on Chandler as his next opponent. “Yes, it has to be,” McGregor asserted, addressing the speculation surrounding their potential bout.
Despite the uncertainties and speculations, one thing remains clear: Conor McGregor’s return to the UFC is a highly anticipated event, and his potential clash with Michael Chandler at UFC 300 could be a historic moment for the sport.
As Dana White indicated, the MMA community may have to wait until next summer for this epic showdown, but the excitement and speculation will undoubtedly continue to build in the meantime.