Is Conor McGregor edging closer to his highly anticipated return to the UFC?
For months, the buzz surrounding McGregor's comeback has been intense, including an entire season of The Ultimate Fighter dedicated to promoting it. Yet, concrete signs of his UFC return have been elusive. The primary obstacle remains the requirement for McGregor to undergo six months of USADA drug testing unless the promotion grants him a controversial exception. McGregor has been notably absent from the testing pool, citing the need to "heal."
Could this stance finally be changing?
In a recent Instagram post discussing his sparring session, McGregor hinted at taking steps towards fulfilling his USADA requirements. He mentioned that he had "submitted my stuff to Novitzky," suggesting a potential comeback on the horizon.
While some have criticized McGregor's optimism, Michael Chandler firmly believes that a fight between them is inevitable and hopes it will take place at UFC 300. If McGregor has indeed returned to the testing pool, it could align with the milestone UFC 300 event, as USADA's six-month rule would still apply.
However, it's essential to note that McGregor has made similar claims in the past, particularly in May, without officially rejoining the anti-doping agency.
USADA's guidelines state that McGregor can easily re-enter the testing pool by sending a "return-from-retirement statement through courier, fax, or email to the UFC." This requirement has remained unfulfilled for months. McGregor's recent statement, indicating he had "submitted stuff" to Jeff Novitzky of the UFC, raises hopes that things might be different this time.
As of September 28, 2023, according to USADA's database, McGregor has not undergone drug testing since the third quarter of 2021.
Despite his recent setbacks, including a gruesome leg break in 2021, McGregor remains the UFC's most significant pay-per-view draw in history.
However, the former two-division champion has only secured one victory in the last seven years and is now 35 years old.