By Dane McGuire

Despite Conor McGregor having missed a USADA deadline, both he and UFC President Dana White he’d fight in 2023. McGregor doubled down on the fight last week.

“December – [Michael] Chandler, I have to do it,” McGregor told TalkSport on Saturday. “I’ve just got to grab him by the chest [and smack him]. That’s what I’ve got to do.”

McGregor has not been in the USADA testing pool since breaking his leg in a 2021 TKO loss to Dustin Porier. Fighters not in the pool but still under contract must have been in the testing pool for six months.

Similar to Brock Lesnar and UFC 200, a waiver would be required at this point.

“Chandler next in December and then [Justin] Gaethje, BMF and then we’ll do the Nate [Diaz] trilogy,” McGregor said.

McGregor was also at Anthony Joshua’s recent return to boxing and called out influencer KSI to a bare-knuckle bout.

As far as Chandler goes, White shared his thoughts in July.

“He’s not [back in the USADA testing pool],” White said. “100 percent [there’s a chance Conor McGregor fights this year].”

“We’ll see how that plays out,” White said. “They’re saying that now, but who knows. I don’t talk about s*** until s*** happens. To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea. I’m focused on what’s happening this Saturday, and then next Saturday. UFC 300 isn’t even in my mind right now.

“The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s going to play out – who cares what USADA says, we’ll see what happens when it happens so I don’t know.”

The situation is ongoing, but there has been some chatter about McGuire facing Justin Gaethje after his recent bragging-rights-based ‘BMF’ title win.

Gaethje confirmed talks had taken place but was happy to turn down the fight due to speculation over McGregor using PEDs.

“I think he’s turned me down six times,” Gaethje said at his post-fight press conference. “And usually, you have to lose to fight him, so don’t know what’s going on.”

“I’m not going to fight someone on steroids. I’ve never taken steroids in my life, never will – well, maybe when I retire, I might. But I’ve never taken steroids, and I don’t want to fight someone that’s cheating. And I probably shouldn’t even say that if I want the fight, but it’s the truth.”