Conor McGregor Won’t Get Special Treatment from USADA Ahead of Likely UFC Return

Dec 5, 2022
A. J. Riot

Fans of UFC and Conor McGregor are readying for the Irishman’s return to the cage as he prepares to make a stunning comeback in the world of MMA, albeit one that may be the subject of an enforced delay due to USADA guidelines.

Current guidelines stipulate that a fighter must be in a drug-testing pool for six months prior to a new UFC bout and as yet is not eligible and that means any fight is still some way off, which is a blow not just to McGregor but the MMA world as a whole.

McGregor’s pulling power can never be underestimated, as the 34-year-old is still the biggest draw in the sport. Whenever the Dubliner gets in the ring, millions watch, and a large number also visit the best MMA betting sites to back him to fight off any opponent.

McGregor’s last fight came in July 2021 when he lost to Dustin Poirier for a second successive occasion, which was the fighter’s third loss in four fights. Efforts to get him in the ring sooner would depend on UFC issuing an exemption, which they have done previously.

However, former UFC double champion Henry Cejudo did have to sit out for six months after he recently came out of retirement though clearly, no one would dispute that McGregor has earned the right to be considered a special case.

USADA’s director of communications, Averi Walker, has issued a statement on the matter;

“McGregor is not enrolled in our testing pool and would have to be for six months unless an exception is granted, which we do not think would be applicable,”

As for McGregor looking to ‘game the system’ UFC welterweight fighter Matt Brown insists that the legendary fighter is doing nothing wrong;

“If you have a criticism against that rule, then you have to criticize that rule, but anybody can do that,”

“I don’t know why the UFC would do that for Conor, being that him fighting in March or February versus him fighting in August or September doesn’t really change the bottom line. He’s going to be a draw no matter when he fights, whereas Brock Lesnar fought for UFC 200 when they kind of gave him an exemption for two months to come back without testing for six months.”

“He’s following the rules,” Brown said. “You can’t hate on him. He’s following the f****** rules.” Brown added.

It is perhaps telling that UFC supremo Dana White has insisted that McGregor will have to sit out for six months, regardless of his star status.

As for whom McGregor might actually fight when he does get back in the cage, fighter Daniel Cormier believes he should take a shot at Michael Chandler;

“I think Michael Chandler’s last fight is why he might get the Conor McGregor fight,”

“We saw him try and wrestle Dustin Poirier, and even though he’s a wrestler, and he’s in phenomenal shape, he did get tired. In the third round, he got tired, and when he got tired, he made a mistake, and Dustin submitted him. But he also was willing to stand with a guy that hits hard, a guy that’s predominantly a striker, and he tested himself.”

No fight has been agreed upon yet, but one thing is for certain: whoever gets in the cage with McGregor, and whenever that takes place in 2023, it will be a fight that millions watch.