McGregor and Chandler are facing off as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. His scrap with Chandler has been in question because he still hasn’t re-entered the UFC’s anti-doping program. McGregor has to go through six months of drug testing to get back in the octagon, although he’s claimed previously that he was granted an exemption. USADA has disputed that claim.
McGregor isn’t too concerned about the drug-testing issue and told reporters that it’s been taken care of.
“That’s done, man. That’s done. Year end, I’m back in that cage having competed,” McGregor told reporters on Friday. “I’m gearing up ready to go.”
The Irishman added that the date for his fight with Chandler will be announced during The Ultimate Fighter, which is set to debut on May 30.
“[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.”
McGregor has yet to re-enter the testing pool, per MMAFighting.com.
Conor McGregor Eyeing Boxing Match With Canelo Alvarez
McGregor’s plans for the future include another foray into the world of boxing. He previously fought Floyd Mayweather in a much-hyped affair and now has his sights set on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Canelo is coming off a successful undisputed title defense over John Ryder. McGregor feels like he could handle Canelo if they put on the gloves.
“I’m a southpaw, Ryder was a southpaw, Billie Joe [Saunders] was a southpaw,” McGregor said. “I’ve seen methods, I’ve seen things I’d do and I know he’s waning. I’d fight Canelo no f***ing problem. No problem.”
It’s quite the idea but McGregor should be focused on getting his UFC career back on track. He has just one win to his name since 2016 — a first-round knockout of Donald Cerrone in 2020. As an aside, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t see McGregor boxing someone like Jake Paul, or even his old UFC nemesis Nate Diaz. Paul and Diaz are set to square off in August.
“Jake Paul, Nate Diaz, I dunno but I don’t think he needs to do it. He’s made his money, he’s a great mixed martial artist,” Hearn said. “You don’t want to go in there and lose to someone you don’t really like. It’s one thing losing to Floyd Mayweather, you don’t want to lose to a plonker.”
Michael Chandler Doubts Conor McGregor Pulls Out of Fight
Chandler has expressed some doubt about the fight happening with McGregor but ultimately feels like the former featherweight and lightweight champ won’t pull out. He has too much to lose by building the hype and then backing down.
“It definitely makes the show better if you know when the fight’s happening,” Chandler told Thiccc Boy. “Conor came out the other day and said there’s gonna be a fight announcement soon or a date soon, so I think I won’t really get nervous or anything about it until June 1.
“Conor loves the sport of mixed martial arts, he loves being the guy, he loves being in the bright lights and those stadiums and whatnot. So, I think he’s coming back. He can’t do all this and not come back.”
Chandler is also looking to get his path to a title shot. He’s lost three of his last four, most recently falling to Dustin Poirier in November of 2022 via submission.