By Dane McGuire

After continued talk of a fight between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler going down in 2023, even McGregor seems downtrodden. Most recently, McGregor had discussed returning in December.

McGregor said in a series of voice notes posted to X (formerly Twitter):

“They’re not going to let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen. I’m ready, I’m ready… I wanted and announced December 16th. I’ve given everything. So you know, it’s not going to happen, it doesn’t look it’s going to happen,” McGegor said.

Shortly after this, dated August 21, McGregor then tweeted, “December is back on the table.”

The fight is still planned but no date or other details have been announced. 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.

“That whole situation is very interesting to me,” Chandler said while at UFC 292. “I’ve got a lot of different thoughts on it. Ultimately, I signed with the organization September of 2020 and I could have fought October of 2020. So this whole, he retired so he’s got to take six months to come back, I mean, are we splitting hairs here? What are we talking about?

“For me, as long as a man is in the USADA testing pool for months on end and he has the ability to be tested every single day or multiple times a day for a certain period of time-It’s a sport, that to me is a very interesting gray area. Ultimately, I’m out here and I can fight Conor with one day in the USADA testing pool or a year in the USADA testing pool. It’s not going to make a difference.”

McGregor and Chandler had coached against each other this year on the Ultimate Fighter and it’s customary for the coaches to have their own clash after the season. But even UFC President Dana White is looking at 2024.

White spoke about the situation at the UFC 292 post-fight press conference.

“Obviously, we’re running this whole season of The Ultimate Fighter. To not do that fight would be ridiculous, but we’re working on it. I’m hoping we can do it early next year.”

Should McGregor return on December 16, that would be for the UFC 296 pay-per-view at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.