Don’t expect to see Conor McGregor back in the UFC octagon anytime soon.
After months of speculation about “The Notorious” and his status in USADA’s drug testing pool, UFC President Dana White has confirmed that McGregor has pulled out of the program.
In September, TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter dove deep into USADA’s public database and found that Conor McGregor was the only fighter on the UFC roster who hadn’t been tested in 2022. Reporter Farah Hannoun asked White about the situation at the UFC 280 post-fight press conference..
“Speaking of USADA, it appears in the database that Conor McGregor has not been tested this year,” she said. “Do you have to complete six months before you can compete?”
“Yeah,” White replied.
“So he can’t come back for six months?” she followed.
“Good,” White said.
Looking back, it seems almost obvious that McGregor would be removed from the USADA program while doctors treat his injured leg, which was badly broken in a delicate spot near the ankle. Many treatments and rehabilitation programs involve substances considered by USADA to enhance performance in a competitive setting.
Given that McGregor is not in competition and needed the best medical care to ensure the continuation of his fighting career, it makes sense that he would be allowed out of the program while in rehab. As long as he spends the six months being tested by USADA before competing again, he is playing by the rules.
That’s not to say there isn’t something pretty devious about Conor McGregor’s sudden explosion of size. Mac hasn’t been shy about posting photos of the muscle mass he’s put on in his spare time or his desire to move up to welterweight. It’s very possible that he got a pass because of his leg and is now taking every substance known to science for his “historical comeback”.
While McGregor is still determined to come back and win a third title at 170lbs, he took some time after UFC 280 to call out Islam Makhachev after Dagestan’s victory over Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title.
“Great fight, great performance,” McGregor wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “I have the tools to beat this style now vs. before. Experience vs shit. Deal melee shots and baby brain beater shots from the bottom. And the rest of my repertoire, you know it. Steel left leg. Backhand of the barrel. Wrist control.
If McGregor really wants to challenge Islam Makhachev, it will have to be after May 2023 at the earliest. Until “The Notorious” enters USADA’s six-month testing period, his weekly talk about knocking out champions in multiple divisions won’t carry as much weight as he did.
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