Conor McGregor Backtracks On Plan To Fight Michael Chandler At UFC 296 In December

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Conor McGregor will not be fight in the UFC in 2023.

Not again Michael Chandler at UFC 296 in December, and not against anybody else.

McGregor and Chandler squared off as coaches on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, with the Irishman’s Brad Katona winning at bantamweight and Chandler’s Kurt Holobaugh claiming the featherweight crown.

But the focus throughout the season has been on the two coaches.

The UFC’s plan was to have them fight one another following the completion of the season. But McGregor has not fought in the UFC since July of 2021 and had pulled out of the mandatory USADA drug testing pool.

UFC rules state a fighter must be in the pool at least six months prior to competition.

This led to speculation that McGregor would never actually fight Chandler.

But Chandler remained steadfast.

“I’m a fighter’s guy, I’m a fighter’s fighter, there’s a reason people love to watch me fight, the reason they tune in,” Chandler told Daniel Cormier. “I think Conor’s coming back. I don’t think he wants to stain his legacy by leading us all down this road of ‘I’m doing The Ultimate Fighter. I’m fighting Michael Chandler. Oh, by the way, never mind. I’m not coming back. Make sure you buy my Irish whiskey’ and all that kind of stuff.'”

McGregor has also stood by the notion that he’ll be back.

But he still hasn’t submitted a sample to USADA, making him ineligible for a December fight without an exemption. And now it appears he’s backtracking.

“They’re not going to let me fight in December, ladies and gentleman,” McGregor said in a series of voice notes posted to Twitter per MMAFighting.

Fans were unsurprised by the news.

Who knows whether the fight ever actually happens. But it seems to be trending in the wrong direction.