Conor McGregor confirms long-awaited UFC return date despite MISSING drug testing deadline for Michael Chandler fight

CONOR MCGREGOR has announced the date for his long-awaited comeback fight – despite not being back in the UFC’s drug testing pool.

The mixed martial arts mogul was set to throw down with Michael Chandler – his rival coach on the latest series of The Ultimate Fighter – later this year.

McGregor, however, missed the deadline to re-enter the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s testing pool – which he must be in for a minimum of six months – to make a return before year’s end.

But The Notorious insists he will be back before the year is out, tweeting he’ll fight in “December” when quizzed by a fan over the weekend.

McGregor would have to be granted an exemption to USADA’s testing pool requirement for returning fighters in order to return on the UFC‘s final pay-per-view event of 2023 on December 16.

The UFC have the power to issue exemptions to the written notice rule in “exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete.”

WWE star and former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was famously given an exemption to a then four-month testing pool requirement in 2016 in order to fight at UFC 200.

And UFC president Dana White hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the same exemption being handed to McGregor.

The 53-year-old told TSN: “He’s not [back in the USADA testing pool].

“100 per cent [there’s a chance Conor McGregor fights this year].”

He continued: “We’ll see how that [McGregor potentially getting an exemption] plays out.

“I don’t talk about s**t until s**t happens, you know what I mean?

“To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea.

“I’m focusing on what’s happening this Saturday [UFC 290], and then next Saturday.

“UFC 300 isn’t even on my mind right now.

“The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s gonna play out?

“Who cares what USADA says? We’ll see what happens when it happens.”

Former two-division champion McGregor hasn’t set foot inside the octagon since breaking his leg in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier two years ago.

But Mystic Mac insists he’s on course to return before year’s end, tweeting last week: “I look forward to my upcoming fight.

“I am well in preparation.”

Conor McGregor confirms long-awaited UFC return date despite MISSING drug testing deadline for Michael Chandler fight | The Sun

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