Dana White says Conor McGregor’s UFC return just cleared a huge hurdle

UFC CEO Dana White gave us some insight on Conor McGregor's return now that the latter has submitted paperwork to re-enter USADA.

By: Nate Wilcox | 2 months ago
Dana White says Conor McGregor’s UFC return just cleared a huge hurdle
UFC CEO Dana White at a post-fight press conference in May | Credit: IMAGO/ USA TODAY by Louis Grasse.

Ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor back in USADA?

Former UFC champion Conor McGregor gave us a little update on his return to the Octagon this past Friday. The ‘Notorious‘ McGregor posted a video on Instagram of himself doing some sparring, but the video was not the highlight of the post. It was the caption in which he casually mentioned he submitted his paperwork to re-enter the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool. McGregor has spent more than two years away after suffering a broken leg in his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier.

“Find my targets,“ wrote McGregor. “Hit them. —— the consequences. You’re going down. This is fighting. Sparring day with slick Nikolay Grozdev. Always a banger of a spar with the slick fella. “Submitted my stuff to [Jeff] Novitzky. Ball rolling ⚽️ see you soon you little light work b—h.”

UFC CEO Dana White sheds lights on Conor McGreor and USADA

Now that the return of Conor McGregor is gaining more steam, UFC CEO Dana White shed some light as to what happens next for one of his stars. Despite submitting the paperwork to USADA, White clarified that McGregor has not resumed testing yet.

“No, he is not officially in the USADA pool,“ said White during the UFC Vegas 80 post-fight press conference. “He submitted the paperwork, probably by Monday he’ll be submitted. Again, don’t hold me to that, but the paperwork is submitted, next week sometime.”

This is just the start of the process, as the USADA clarified to TSN in March:

“While we meet with all athletes who enter or re-enter the testing pool, we do not currently have a meeting set with Conor and, as of (Thursday), we have not received notice of his coming out of retirement to compete,” the statement reads.

“The UFC rules are clear that, in addition to two negative tests, an athlete must make themself available for testing six months before returning to competition. This is a fair way to ensure an athlete does not use the retirement status to gain an unfair advantage by using prohibited substances during the retirement period, which would enhance their performance unfairly if they ultimately decide to return to competition. While the rules permit the UFC to make an exception to the six-month rule in exceptional circumstances, when the strict application of the rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete, our position, which we have made clear, is that Conor should be in the testing pool for the full six-month period.”

Potential event for a return

The long-suffering Michael Chandler would seem to be the most likely opponent for McGregor, although fellow UFC lightweight Renato Moicano says Chandler is “delusional” if he thinks he’s getting that fight.

Chandler has also been encouraged by UFC commentator Daniel Cormier to “be a little bit disrespectful” and push for the bout.

“Make it happen, Mike. Do not let this fight fall by the wayside,” Cormier said. “Continue to poke. Continue to prod. 

“Dare I say, be a little bit disrespectful to get Conor McGregor to fight you because if I know one thing when you insult McGregor, his pride makes him want to step up and take it to you. 

“I think that might be the way Michael Chandler solidifies even though that’s very out of his element in regards to the way he usually approaches fights.”

Chandler coached opposite McGregor on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter which usually means a bout is being planned for the coaches. But with McGregor, one never knows.

“I literally have nothing planned for Conor McGregor right now,” said White. “The paperwork is being submitted. We’ll play it by ear, see how things work out, there’s still a lot of things that have to happen as far as fights go and then we’ll decide where he’s going to land.”

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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